Pictured, from left, are teacher Brian Zurek, social worker Megan Haycraft, Do the Right Thing Award winner Betsy Papin, Alton Middle School Principal Steve Sandbothe and Piasa House Principal Roger Hetge.
Alton Middle School seventh-grader Betsy Papin is the winner of a Do the Right Thing Award.
Teacher Brian Zurek and social worker Megan Haycraft nominated Betsy for the award. The nomination from them states: "Betsy Papin deserves a Do the Right Thing Award because she lives to help out her community. She always puts others first and is always quick to help anyone in need. Betsy seems to do these things just because they are the right thing to do. She doesn't want the recognition or praise. For a middle-schooler, she has an amazing sense of empathy.”
Betsy played an instrumental part in organizing and carrying out community service projects with Alton Middle School’s Illinois House last year as a sixth-grader. She helped collect more than $600 for Alton Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program during the holidays and assisted with a food drive that collected more than 1,000 items to donate to Alton's Crisis Food Pantry.
This year Betsy took it upon herself to start her own community service project to help her peers at school.
Her “Operation Dress” was designed to allow female students who could not afford dresses to attend dances in appropriate attire. Middle school can be a time when it is not easy to fit in. Betsy made sure every girl at school had the opportunity to be a part of the school community. In addition, Betsy's idea of Operation Dress inspired many girls in the community to start their own drive for dresses, which they brought in to add with Operation Dress, so her idea to help others has encouraged fellow students to think of those in need. Betsy is really a unique student. For a middle school child to understand how difficult it is to be this age and to try to help is truly special.