Last spring, we surprised Katie Wilton with a Cosmic Hero award. With this award, Katie received funding for a project that helps make the world a better place. Now in her sophomore year of high school, Katie is hard at work bringing her project to life.
How did it make you feel to be named a Cosmic Hero?
When I was named Cosmic Hero I was truly surprised because by the time the student body was sitting down for the assembly at school I knew I was receiving some sort of award, but I was not quite sure what it was exactly. I was expecting just a regular school award which were given out weekly at
Friday assemblies. This made receiving the Cosmic Hero Award come as a wonderful honor — it was much bigger than anything I had expected!
How do you plan to use your Cosmic Hero grant?
I plan to use the grant money to buy more plants and seeds for the garden Olympus Gives Back created so we can expand it and grow more fruits and vegetables. We specifically want to use the money to buy fruit bearing trees which we will plant around the school property. The fruits and vegetables grown and harvested will then be given to our local homeless shelter, the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
What inspired you to pick this as your project?
We were inspired to pick this as a project because, as students at a school in downtown Tacoma where there is a relatively large homeless population, we saw many of the challenges and conditions that homeless people faced and we wanted to focus our project around helping those less fortunate. We then combined the aspect of helping the homeless with gardening after seeing how much unused space we had around our school. And with that came the idea of growing fresh produce for the local shelter.
What impact do you hope your project will have?
I hope our project will bring more awareness to homeless and spread the knowledge of the ways and reasons many homeless people end up where they are so that they can be better helped. I also hope for this project to help spread the idea of urban gardening, which has recently started to become popular.
What advice to you have for other students (or adults!) who want to make a difference in their community?
My advice for other students wanting to make a difference in their community is to pick something they are passionate about and do it with other people who are interested. It is much more strenuous and unpleasant when trying to change something you are indifferent about versus something that you truly would love to see change for the better. While it is not bad to try to make a difference on your own, I do strongly advise working with a group. You are stronger as a team and get things done faster and it is overall just more fun to work with other people who care about the same things as you.
Do you think being named a Cosmic Hero has changed how you see yourself, your community, or the world?
Being named a Cosmic Hero did change how I saw myself and my community because it showed me that no matter how small or simple what you are doing may feel personally, there are always people who notice what you are doing and appreciate the change you are striving to make. Olympus Gives Back consists of a small group of high school students growing a garden in the back of their school, but still our efforts and diligence do not go ignored. Winning this award has furthered my strength to continue to work for the change I want to see in the world.
Do you have a favorite superhero?
My favorite superhero is the Flash :)
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