Making Others Smile through Service

Josie GrantJosie Grant is being honored as a Champion of Change for her Kiwanis International service. 

Here is who I am: just a girl trying to make a difference in the world. Motivated because of my young cousin with Goldenhar Syndrome, I sat down with my mother, at age 13, and developed the idea of my foundation, Josie's Smiles for Pediatrics, in hopes of making pediatric patients SMILE! I began with my own money to purchase items for patients. I continue to contact individuals, and local and national businesses, to encourage them to make donations to the Pediatric Unit and Family Birthplace at Carroll Hospital Center. Through my endeavor, I have coordinated donations of more than $26,000. Through Key Club, my foundation was able to expand to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, adding $2,000. I hope to add to that total this year, as we work together again to donate more toys and other essentials for pediatric patients and their families.

I have accumulated more than 1,000 community service hours since the summer of 2006. During middle school, I spent two years volunteering at Lorien Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, helping the elderly. I also helped young children at a local daycare. I have walked for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in both Maryland and Indiana in honor of my aunt. I have helped out for four years at Maryland Brain Injury Association’s Eat-A-Peach, walked for Leukemia and Lymphoma, and Diabetes, along with many more community service efforts. I devote my free time to making a difference. I live by a quote from Harriet Tubman: Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

I have maintained honor roll since elementary school, even while taking accelerated, honors and Advance Placement classes. I was my high school’s Key Club treasurer and president. Now I am a Capital District Division 9 Lieutenant Governor in charge of 15 western Maryland Key Clubs. I have attended Key Club District Convention three years in a row, along with a Key Leader leadership weekend, and a Key Club International convention. I am also an active participant in my school’s science club. Currently, I am class representative for Carroll County Career and Technology Center’s SkillsUSA. I was an active member of S.H.O.U.T. (Students Helping Others while Understanding Themselves) and Culture Club in middle school. In addition, I was a member of my high school freshman basketball team and participated in martial arts training for one year.

Following high school, I plan to attend college and major in nursing to become a neonatal nurse, hoping to work in a stage 5 NICU, becoming just a woman trying to make a difference in the world—starting from the very first minutes of babies’ lives.

Josie Grant is a high school senior, and the current Capital District Division 9 Lieutenant Governor for Key Club International, the Kiwanis International program for high school students

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