2003 USA Student Finalists

Dominique Covey
Dubuque Hempstead High School
Daughter of Brian and Michelle Covey

Student to Student Reading Fun
In our growing world, literacy is more important than ever. At Audubon Elementary School in downtown Dubuque, literacy scores have been dropping, which could result in less funding for the school. Student to Student Reading Fun successfully brings high school role models to Audubon to promote literacy and encourage confidence in young students.

Matthew Craig
Linn-Mar High School (Marion)
Son of Paul and Nancy Craig

Inspirational Magnets
After a life-changing experience at an international leadership conference, Matt Craig returned with the idea of the Inspirational Magnets Book Project. He published Inspirational Magnets: Powerful Stories that Pull Us Together, with stories from youth all over the world. The book aims to motivate youth to pursue their dreams. All proceeds will go toward funding leadership workshops.

Kathleen Curran
Lisbon High School
Daughter of Joe Curran and Pamela and Terry Trimpe

Drama Experience 2003
Drama Experience 2003 was a five-day day camp at the Iowa Children’s Museum for 26 4th and 5th grade students from Lisbon, Iowa. During the week of June 23-27, campers engaged in dramatic exercises, acting games, and backdrop painting. The students put together two Reader’s Theater programs that they presented Friday for their families, friends, and the community.

Melissa Gerlach
Maquoketa High School
Daughter of Paul and Sandra Gerlach

Got Worms?
Got Worms? is a diversified agricultural project using red worms to recycle used non-protein food sources. The worms are fed leftover food scraps which they eat and then produce an organic casting which is a rich fertilizer. The fertilizer can then be sold.

Jason Heki
Home Schooled (Johnston)
Son of Richard and Barbara Heki

“Youth Entrepreneurs” Book
In an effort to promote an entrepreneurial spirit among today’s youth, I have written a book on youth entrepreneurship, featuring nuts-and-bolts information, as well as showcasing a variety of youth entrepreneurs telling their stories. My goal is to inspire youths across America to become entrepreneurs and to teach them how to achieve their dreams.

Timothy Laehn
Allison-Bristow High School
Son of Jerry and Margie Laehn

Helping New Residents to Feel Welcome in our Communities
I created gift packets to welcome new residents to the Allison community. The packets include information about Allison and gifts from local businesses. I plan to expand the project to other communities in our county and throughout the state. Through this project, I hope to promote Iowa’s growth and to help new residents adjust to our state’s local communities.

Kimber Lockhart
Ballard High School (Huxley)
Daughter of Larry and Sharon Lockhart

Chemo Cap Drive
When cancer patients go through chemotherapy, many lose their hair. My project was started to provide soft handmade caps for people battling cancer. These caps can make daily life more comfortable and let the recipients know that someone cares. The 500 caps I collected were distributed to hospitals and other health care facilities across Iowa.

Phil Ryan
Le Mars Gehlen Catholic High School
Son of Tom and Jayne Ryan

Fitness 4 Kids …. Good Health 2 Day
My project is a wellness camp to educate and motivate fourth grade students to take a proactive interest in their health. Physical activity and eating right today can prevent costly health problems later. This energetic, eager to learn age group has to be reached before they hit the screen years (computers, video games, T.V.). Supersized eating today equals supersized health problems tomorrow.

Joshua Tapper
Dike – New Hartford High School
Son of Robert and Susan Tapper

In Honor Of …
“In Honor Of…” beautified Lincoln Township Cemetery. Through organizational, motivational and leadership skills, I was able to design and construct a permanent sign, replace a perimeter fence, place a flagpole, landscape, update and compile burial records for publication, placing them in county and state libraries. This project honored all buried there, promoted public awareness, volunteerism and pride in my community.

Heather Joy Terhark
Liberty Homeschool (Corwith)
Daughter of Bruce and Jackie Terhark

Discover Your Mission
My project is to create a series of watercolor paintings aimed at inspiring youth to impact the world by giving to those in need, to sell prints of these paintings, and to donate the total profit to Speed the Light, a student-initiated organization which provides missionaries with equipment enabling them to meet the physical needs of those they minister to.

Kathryn Vornbrock
Remsen-Union High School
Daughter of Ronald and Rebecca Vornbrock

Enlightening the Minds of Students to Other Cultures
Raised in a small rural town, students of Remsen-Union do not have the opportunity to experience many cultural differences. By putting on a culture fair, a group of volunteers and I introduced students to cultures of eight countries. The student sampled the presentations of various booths and interacted with the volunteers, gaining a better knowledge of the cultures.

Celsy Wiemerslage
Kee High School (Lansing)
Daughter of Craig and Janelle Wiemerslage

Gambia Books
Gambia Books was an effort to help educate the children of Gambia. I used three different methods within the month of July: Donations of money and books from baseball games, a bank book drive, and donations from local businesses and people. It took hard work and determination. I have learned a great deal about myself and about helping others.

Deprecia Wright
Waterloo East High School
Daughter of Sanders and Renita Wright

A Prescription Delivery Service for Elderly and Homebound
I organized a prescription delivery service for elderly and homebound patients affiliated with the People’s Community Health Clinic of Waterloo, in particular those who have low income and lack the transportation and support system to aid them in this area. With the help of volunteer students and mentors overseeing, we plan to fulfill the need of prescription delivery in our community.

Elizabeth Wright
West Monona High School (Onawa)
Daughter of Ralph and Jodie Skarin

School Bag & School Supplies
My project consists of school bags and school supplies for my community. I will provide tote bags, made by me and others, filled with the appropriate supplies for the needy children. I will also provide supplies for the classrooms during the year.