Kaitlyn Batman is a sixth grade Sage Oak student. Since she began homeschooling with Sage Oak, she has shown growth academically, socially and personally. She has been able to challenge herself with a customized curriculum plan. This year, she added new classes in the areas of writing, chemistry, geography, and business. Throughout Kaitlyn’s life, she has continually expressed a desire to help others. Even as a young child, she would often watch over her younger siblings to ensure they were taken care of and included. Kaitlyn may have a quiet disposition, but she demonstrates courage when she is helping others or standing up for what is right. This year, Kaitlyn was chosen by The Jefferson Awards Foundation, a Student’s In Action program to focus on a need in her community. She and another sixth grade Sage Oak student created a team called Hopeful Hands. Their team recognized a need that foster children had, and decided to take action by giving them a personal care bag called a Tote of Hope. Through donations from friends, family, stores and complete strangers, they designed, filled and granted over 100 foster children a personal “Tote of Hope”. The tote was filled with a basic needs pack that included a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, undergarments and a brush. They also included items that would encourage the foster children like a stuffed animal, a kickball, a journal and pen, and coloring books and crayons. Kaitlyn has shown great leadership skills and growth this year, especially while leading this project. She had to face fears of talking to friends, family, and even store managers and promoted her project on social media. After talking to a local Walmart manager, she received a donation of 268 stuffed animals for her project. This donation alone helped her team exceed their goal. We are proud that Kaitlyn and her team! They not only recognized the need but were brave enough take action and work together until they surpassed their goal to meet the need.