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Six students earn Do The Right Thing honors

By Staff | Oct 20, 2010

The Cape Coral Police Department held its monthly Do The Right Thing ceremony Wednesday at City Hall.

Overall winner
Kathryn Andersen, 7th grade, Challenger Middle, granddaughter of Bill and Gail Anderson
Two years ago, when Kathryn was 11 years old weighing only 48 pounds and in extremely poor health, she was taken out of a Virginia foster home by her grandparents. Prior to that, Kathryn and her four younger siblings, ages 6, 5, 3, and 1, had been abused and neglected. She had watched her siblings and pets being beaten and starved, and she stepped in and did whatever she could to help them survive. A number of times she risked her own safety to sneak food for the others, trying to take care of them like they were her own children. Kathryn is being recognized, though, not for the sacrifices she made to help her siblings and pets in the past, but for what she continues to do since she has been living in a safe home. Since moving to Florida, Kathryn has been working hard to get good grades so that she can fulfill her dream of working with animals in order to support her siblings. She has plans to go back and adopt them as soon as she is old enough. Instead of having fun with her new friends on the weekends, she has been trying to find an Animal Shelter that will allow a 13-year-old volunteer so that she can proceed with the training needed.
Kathryn’s grandparents are retired, and living on a fixed income, so they can’t do too much more than providing the necessities for Kathryn. However, they have been able to give her a weekly allowance of $12. That money is to be spent in any way that makes her happy. While her grandparents expected her to buy herself some new teenage-type items, CDs or maybe makeup and clothes, to their surprise, Kathryn has started donating 1/3 of her allowance to the Humane Society and 1/3 of her allowance to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The 1/3 she has left to spend on herself is often used to buy things to send back to her siblings.

Kaylee Murphy, 2nd grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Jerry and Kim Murphy
Seven-year-old Kaylee has become very concerned about protecting the earth. She has made it a habit to pick up garbage wherever she sees it. Kaylee regularly brings trash bags with her on outings with her family, and if she sees excessive trash in the medians, she asks her parents to stop so she can pick it up. If she doesn’t have a bag with her, it goes into the car anyway until she can find a trash can. Kaylee asks her mom to join her along the streets near her home to assist in her effort to clean her community and has recruited the help of all of her family members in her endeavor. Kaylee’s environmental concerns far exceed her young age.

Zachary Lesher, 10th grade, Island Coast High, son of Sharon and Frankie Combs
Zach was nominated by one of his teachers. She states that last year, Zach was in her “freshman success” class and was, according to her, anything but successful. He failed most of his classes last year because of lack of effort. He would sleep through class or skip class completely in order to stay in the cafeteria for all four lunch shifts. When confronted with his attitude, he simply stated that he didn’t care.
Well, apparently Zach had some time over the summer to contemplate his future. The Zach that didn’t care is no longer: this year he is a new person. He has requested to take a public speaking class first period in the morning and is wide awake and ready to go. He is working hard in all of his classes and is determined to make the A honor roll. When asked about the change in his behavior, he states, “I have grown up and realize how important an education is.”

Alfredo Escalera, 9th grade, Island Coast High, son of Annette Ramos
For years, Alfredo has been volunteering in a variety of capacities at Challenger Middle School — during the school day, after school, on weekends and throughout the summer. He has run the concession stand, helped at the family reading night, performed office tasks, repaired computers, taught computer programs to the teachers, taught the TV production class and set up AV equipment and technology. He had been the school’s technology expert and was depended on by both students and adults. Alfredo has volunteered more than 100 hours of his personal time beyond the school day and is unselfish in his actions. This year, Alfredo is attending Island Coast High School yet continues to help at Challenger when he is needed.

Zackary Lockart, 8th grade, Caloosa Middle,
Brandon Lockart, 8th grade, Caloosa Middle, sons of Harry Lockart
These two young men were nominated by staff of Caloosa Middle School. Zack was nominated for his persistence and his independence. Zack has cerebral palsy. He uses a walker or crutches and sometimes has great difficulty maneuvering from the bus to his classrooms and around campus. Often students facing these difficulties depend on the school to provide means to make their school time easier. Zack, though, strives to be independent and continues to do things for himself despite the difficulties. Zack has many friends and studies hard. Due to his disability, he struggles to get his homework down in print, but still manages to maintain an A average. He is truly a role model to students and adults at Caloosa Middle for his persistence and courage.
Brandon also proves to be a positive role model. While he knows his brother is independent and wants to remain that way, Brandon is always keeping an eye out for him and goes out of his way to ensure that Zack has what he needs to be safe. It is obvious that Brandon cares a great deal for his brother and that he is proud of him. Not only does Brandon keep a watchful eye on his brother, but can often be found looking out for others in school who being picked on. The brothers are in the Junior National Honor Society and active in church.