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Young people awarded $1,000 each for respect projects

“One of the things that impressed me so much about Davie County is the capacity to support, to grow, to build leaders and to help their fellow men and women. To be part of the Davie Respect Initiative (DRI) is such an honor and a pleasure.”

David Bone, county manager, who has been in Davie County 4.5 months, shared these sentiments at the DRI awards ceremony on May 5 where he presented award checks to the two newest Ambassadors of Respect.   

The celebration has moved from an annual to a quarterly event. Up to 10 ambassadors will be selected each year and awarded $1,000 each for their ideas/projects to increase demonstrated respect in Davie County.

On May 5, at the Davie Community Park, the two new Ambassadors of Respect (AoR) were recognized.

Kathryn Anderson

Kathryn Anderson, a student at UNC Chapel Hill, attended via Zoom.  Her father saw an ad for NICA (N.C. Interscholastic Cycling Association) when she was a freshman in high school and the family became involved.

“I was so intimidated and didn’t race in the first race, I was way too scared; after a lot of races and a lot of fear, I saw a real need and started a mentor training program for girls.”

Imagine how intimidating it would be at your first race as a young sixth grade girl,  to be among 700 riders at the starting line.”

In a predominantly male dominated sport, Kathryn created a program that is exclusive to girls and matches new riders with more experienced riders to practice with, gain confidence and teach techniques of mountain biking.

From Kathryn’s application: “Respect isn’t just about being kind to others, it’s taking a stand about something you are passionate about.”

David Bone was inspired to have  someone of that age talk about advocacy and finding their passion. The check and certificate were presented to Kathryn’s parents, Christy and Brad Anderson.

Maddie Kulis organized a walk to raise funds and awareness for Down Syndrome.

“I have a passion to learn about and embrace my peers who have special needs. Whether that is Down Syndrome, autism, a handicap or even a learning disability. I learned at a young age that not everyone feels comfortable around people who are different from them.

“My experience in showing respect to them  is opening your heart to see them as you see yourself. It brings out the absolute best in them. They feel seen and appreciated. Their joy doesn’t compare to how they make me feel though. My peers with special needs are so pure and full of grace. It makes me want to be a better person.”

Maddie’s Davie High War Eagle team won for the most overall walkers and took second place for the most money raised, $945. Money raised helps families and promotes awareness. Stay tuned for details on the 2021 walk.

Macey Smith, a current Ambassador of Respect, shared what being an ambassador has meant.

“Respect is accepting someone for who they are even if you don’t agree.  Respect doesn’t always come easy. The DRI provides resources and funding to make change.  Being an AoR has taught me that one small idea can make a difference. DRI is an organization I am thankful to be a part of and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish in the future.”

Emcee Daniel Lobb encouraged all to be on the lookout for young people or groups to nominate.  If you see someone “being kind, doing good, showing respect towards people, animals or the environment” nominate them at www.davierespect.org.

“Congratulations to all.  This is who we are Davie County.  Let’s see who you can nominate.  Let’s celebrate,” Lobb said.