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Students celebrate everyday heroes to change Colleton’s headlines

A group of English students at Colleton County High School are working to celebrate the everyday heroes of Colleton County, all in an attempt to change society’s views of Colleton County and the people who live in the county.
“We have a mission to seek out many heroes in the Colleton County area. These people deserve recognition and spotlight for having a kind outlook in the world,” said Jim Bailey, an 18-year-old senior from Walterboro. Bailey is a Colleton County High School student, and attends the Cougar New Tech Academy. Bailey’s Cougar New Tech class has inspired the project, along with literature lessons learned in the school’s English IV Honors class, taught by Amanda Ballard.
“The poem, Beowulf, is a part of our thinking process in identifying everyday heroes,” he said. Bailey is the student selected in his class to promote the project to the public, as part of gaining entries for everyday heroes. After he graduates from Colleton County High School this spring, he will major in public education at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie. He will also be a part-time paramedic-firefighter with Colleton County Fire-Rescue. He is currently a volunteer with them and started when he was 14, as a Junior Explorer with the Colleton County Fire-Rescue. “We were reviewing the bad things in Colleton County, and reviewing headlines of our county,” he said. According to Bailey, those “negative headlines” that they read were from actual media clips. The headlines also include the social ideas and views of Colleton County. These views, and headlines, included such phrases as “three shot” or “drug bust,” he said.
“We were reviewing those headlines and then we were tasked to think about the good.”
The “good” things of the county include Colleton County’s Recreational Complex, the county’s library, the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly the Great Swamp Sanctuary), and the county’s natural resources.
The Veterans Victory House was also among the good items that the county has, he said. “It’s something good we offer for the veterans,” said Bailey, of the Veterans Victory House, the county’s allocated senior living community for veterans of the U.S. Military.
The class launched their hero-nomination project in mid-February.

Already, three people have been chosen as everyday heroes, and are being celebrated by the school and on the class’s Web site: the students have collaborated to build a Web site that will allow citizens to promote people who “possess characteristics of a hero.”
There are three heroes now being celebrated: a teacher from CCHS, a principal at CCMS, and a student.
The teacher is Patrick Thomas and he was chosen because of his attitude and for “going above and beyond.”
The principal is Lauren Behie. Bailey says Behie was chosen because of her backpack buddy project for the school’s less-fortunate students. These book bags are filled with canned food and school supplies.
The student who was selected is Stephanie Hooker. She goes to Haiti on mission trips. “She represents Colleton County in a good way and is helping the world,” said Bailey.
Bailey says the group’s purpose is to make normal citizens in Colleton’s society to feel “honored for their bravery,” according to information released by Bailey and his class.
The class’s actual project includes a Web site that allows Colleton County residents to describe the “good things” in the county, and to recognize the county’s heroes. “We have a Web site where people can submit their own heroes, to recognize people who are a hero to someone else.” That Web site is called “Heroes of Colleton County.” The link can be found at www.robertozepahua2.wixsite.com.
Once heroes are submitted to the site, the class’ members (students) will review the submissions. If a person is deemed an everyday hero by the group, then that person will be recognized on the Web site. Each month, the heroes will be celebrated on the Web site.
“The person nominated can be someone picking up trash on the side of the road or saving someone’s life. It doesn’t matter how big or small the act is,” said Bailey.
The class is currently asking for more submissions from the public.
To submit entries about everyday heroes, go to the school’s Web site or email Kendall Bell at kendallbell@cougarnewtech.com.

Heather Walters (1477 Posts)