2005 USA Student Finalists

Zachary Becker
Davenport Central High School
Son of Rod & Kathy Becker

Music Mentors: Encouraging the Continuation of Music Education of Inner City Youth
Music Mentors is a community service project that empowers high school students to work as mentors with inner city intermediate students. The goal of this project is to encourage these students to continue their music education in high school. Through continued involvement in music, the outcome for these student will be better grades, better social behavior and improved self esteem.

Katie Buryanek
Bishop Heelan Catholic High School (Sioux City)
Daughter of Jeff & Amy Buryanek

Promoting Literacy in Third World Countries
This project is to promote the literacy rates in Guatemala, where the average classroom has only one book for all the students to learn. I had a children’s book drive to collect gently used books. The books were then translated to Spanish, leaving the English as well. These books will be sent to schools in the villages throughout Guatemala.

Jessica Cameron
Knoxville High School
Daughter of Bruce & Val Cameron

Physical Funness Day Camp
My project is a day camp that tackles one of our biggest national health issues: obesity. With the help of student athletes from my school, I held a free three day camp for Knoxville’s elementary aged youth that encouraged a healthy lifestyle through sports, games, experiments, healthy snacks, and even presentations from the Marion County Nutrition Promoters and Community Health.

Addie Campbell
North Scott High School (Eldridge )
Daughter of Scott & Beth Campbell

Melodies of Shakespeare
Addie created original music to be the inspirational voice for the ballet of “Romeo and Juliet.” She composed, orchestrated and conducted this original score. Her music debuted in April 2005 at North Scott High School’s first Shakespeare Festival. Through her music, she helped educate the community on the brilliance of Shakespeare. This opened doors for future students to debut original work.

Luke Christensen
Clarinda High School
Son of Jim & Shirley Christensen

Clarinda Recreational Trail
I designed and am currently developing (and will continue to) a non-motorized recreational trail that is 7.4 miles in length and will encompass the town of Clarinda. The trail is eight feet wide and will run adjacent to many people’s places of work and schools, promoting alternative forms of travel.

Anne Eberline
Grundy Center High School
Daughter of Paul & Janet Eberline

A Breath of Fresh Air
A Breath of Fresh Air was developed to provide outdoor opportunities for the Grundy County Memorial Hospital’s long term residents and patients. The healing garden is a place designed specifically for the elderly and handicapped. A curving path leads through the existing courtyard to various garden areas. The community has come together to make the healing garden a reality.

Alison Hardy
Northern University High School (Cedar Falls)
Daughter of Mary McDade

Team RAPP – Teen Educators and Mentors: Relational Aggression Prevention Program
TEAM RAPP will be a group that meets at least once a week. In this group, eleventh and twelfth grade girls act as mentors for sixth and seventh grade girls to educate them about what relational aggression (or “girl bullying”) is, what the effects of it are, and how it can be prevented.

Joseph Jay
Columbus High School (Columbus Junction)
Son of Mike & Renea Jay

The Daily Show with Joe Jay
My project, The Daily Show with Joe Jay, is designed to bring entertainment and news to the people of Columbus Junction. I film activities around the community and then show them on the local cable station. This project is very rewarding for both myself and the community.

Rachel McMahan
Benton High School (Van Horne)
Daughter of Don & Nancy McMahan

Blanketed with Love
My project is called Blanketed with Love. I am giving nursing home residents the opportunity to help make blankets for destitute children in Honduras. By doing this, the elderly in the nursing home, who are sometimes forgotten, once again feel a part of society while the children in Honduras receive the blankets they desperately need.

Kevin Peyton
Sac High School (Sac City)
Son of Harold & Sue Peyton

Barn Quilts of Sac County
The Barn Quilts of Sac County project was developed to encourage agri-tourism, preserve farm buildings, and provide an economic boost to Sac county. By placing large, painted quilt blocks on historic barns and corn cribs, Kevin Peyton hopes to attract more visitors and their tourism dollars to his rural area. Twenty-two 8-foot barn quilts have been placed all around Sac County.

Joe Putnam
Lousia-Muscatine High School (Letts)
Son of Dan & Claudia Putnam

Preserving Precious Poultry
Preserving Precious Poultry is a project aimed at conserving rare and endangered breeds of poultry. Adult trios (one male and two females) of these rare or endangered birds will be placed throughout Eastern Iowa. The project goal is to keep genetic diversity alive and thriving and to get young people interested in raising poultry.

Paden Roder
South O’Brien High School (Paullina)
Son of Phil & Christy Syndergaard

“SHOP”ing for Academic Success
Students Helping Other Peers (SHOP) is a high school program where selected students tutor their fellow peers who need help with their schoolwork. I propose to extend SHOP to fit all school subjects and to implement SHOP into schools around my district.

Johnathan VanKooten
Pella High School
Son of Kraig & Jennifer VanKooten

Hospital Emergency Communication Back Up Plan
My project was providing and installing an antenna on the Pella Regional Health Center for amateur radio to act as a back up for communication if regular forms do not work. I provided community education about Amateur Radio Emergency Services by doing public demonstrations and prepared for emergency communications by taking an ARRL course on emergency communications using amateur radio.

Frances Vernon
Cedar Rapids Washington High School
Daughter of Bill & Monica Vernon

Youth Powerhouse for Volunteering
The Youth Powerhouse for Volunteering matches young people’s time and talent with community needs through the development of a volunteer clearinghouse. This project recruits potential volunteers and provides them with a fall volunteer fair and an online searchable database of volunteer opportunities hosted on the 10,000 Hours website.

Marcedas White
Des Moines North High School
Son of Dorothy White

Empowered Young Leaders Mentoring Project
Empowered Young Leaders assists grade school aged leaders to form a positive relationship with high school aged leaders. I chose this project because I used to be the student that wanted to get the work done but was afraid to ask questions. I was afraid to speak out about the situations that I was going through in my life.