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Caverna Students win grants for innovative projects

Caverna Senior Haleigh Dennison and Junior Brooklynn Rich developed the project Making Elder Connections that earned a $1500 grant to put it into action. Photo submitted

By Chris Summers

Two Caverna high school students have been awarded grants in the Doctors Mody “Make a Difference” Community Service Competition for Students in Kentucky.

Caverna senior Haleigh Dennison won first place for the STLP project Making Elder Connections, which she put together along with senior Brooklynn Rich. The award comes with a $1500 grant to implement their project.

Describing the project Dennison said, “The goal of our project is to help the elderly in local nursing homes connect with loved ones. From our experiences in the local nursing homes, we have found that the residents are often lonely. Many of their families have busy schedules, demands at work, or live far away. The lack of communication with family members makes many residents depressed. They want to see their loved ones, view pictures of their grandchildren, or see a new addition to the family.”

“With technology,” Rich adds, “We feel we can improve the lives of the residents. With the $1,500 we were rewarded, we plan to buy several tablets for each station at local nursing homes. We want all the residents to have access to these devices to connect with their loved ones through social media and apps. We want to teach them how to use tablets so they can meaningfully connect with everyone.”

Caverna freshman Jayannah Nuckols also received a $500 grant for the STLP/Young Women Lead project.

Nuckols partnered with fellow students Jasmine Reed and Alyssa Carter to develop the project for STLP.

“We surveyed the female population of Caverna Middle/High and found that all of them struggle with confidence, decision making, and feeling empowered in their decision making skills at some level,” Reed said, “We want to change that!!! The Independent Queens goal is to empower young women to build their confidence, fearlessly pursue their dreams, and make goals to be successful in their futures. Our team strives to create a better environment with confident Lady Colonels so our next generation will have a stronger, more reliable support system.”

Carter added, “We have designed an event (presentation/ workshop) for CMS/CHS ladies to empower the females in our district to build their confidence (self-worth), support other females (no drama), make informed choices (based on their personal values), fearlessly pursue their dreams, and set SMART goals for a successful future.”

Young Women Lead has become a very popular group for Caverna’s young ladies and meets regularly to encourage self pride and respectful behavior to students, parents, faculty, and all that the young ladies may encounter.

Nuckols said the funds from the grant will be used to purchase Independent Queen Bracelets as daily reminders of self confidence and worth. Additionally, the funds will be used for affirmation stickers and a reward luncheon when the young women set and achieve their SMART goals.

Caverna Superintendent Amanda Abell said, “I couldn’t be more excited about these award. All of these young ladies have great vision and leadership.”

They are a bright light to the future of our communities,” Abell added.

Caverna Gifted and Talented Director Jessi Hampton said, “These young women embody all that “make a difference” means. They are living out the difference each day in their own attitudes and behavior. They truly are making a difference.”

Jasmine Reed is pictured along with her STLP group members Jayannah Nuckols and Alyssa Carter. Nuckols was awarded $500 grant for their Young Women Lead project. Photo submitted

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