Fifth-grader dedicates herself to helping Others
McBride Elementary School’s Juliana Edwards is not content to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic.
Edwards has a spirit of community service in her elementary school and beyond, helping with Veterans Day at Grace Baptist Church and serving as a member of the local American Heritage Girls.
American Heritage Girls is a faith-based character development program. According to its website, the program is “dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” Edwards has logged over 100 volunteer hours in her community through American Heritage Girls and has served with the organization for nearly six years.
Service work in the local chapter of American Heritage Girls has had the added effect of helping Edwards overcome shyness. “I used to be really shy, but American Heritage Girls helped boost my confidence,” said Edwards, a fifth-grader at McBride, noting that she received inspiration from her mother, Jamie.
“She always loves volunteering in her community,” Edwards said of her mom. “She helps out with Halloweentown, Christmas, and Fourth of July.” Edwards begins each school day by helping in one of the first-grade classrooms.
“I sharpen their pencils and help out with anything they need,” Edwards said. She also volunteers with crosswalk duties. “Me and my crew go out (every five weeks), and we help kids cross the road to school,” Edwards said.
It makes her feel good to help her fellow students, Edwards said. “It just makes my morning very good,” she said. “It makes me happy in the morning, knowing that I help with kids in my school.” Edward’s service work extends beyond the hallways of McBride Elementary.
Edwards serves breakfast to retired servicemen and servicewomen on Veterans Day. She also pays her respects to the military on Memorial Day, placing flags and roses on the headstones of the fallen at local cemeteries.
She enjoys making cards and crafts for senior living centers as well. And that’s not all.
“During the school year, outside of school, I help shovel my neighbor’s driveways for free,” Edwards said. “At church, sometimes I help out with my mom in her little kids’ preschool classes.” Even during COVID-19 restrictions, Edwards didn’t lose her enthusiasm. “It was a little tricky to talk and hear people with their masks on,” she said.
“I was just glad I was able to breathe well, and I was very excited to go back to school.” Edwards is years away from college but has some ideas on what she would like to pursue as a career. “I really like animals,” she said. “I either want to be a zoologist or a community worker.
I want to try to help out in the community.” As for animals, Edwards continued, “I find them very interesting. I want to learn more about their health and the way they live.”
Believe it or not, with all of the ways Edwards helps the community, she finds some downtime to relax between school terms. “During summer, I like spending time with my sister, hanging out with my friends, and going places,” she said. Edwards’ mother, Jamie, is proud of what Juliana accomplishes with American Heritage Girls and beyond.
“I’m really proud of her,” Jamie Edwards said. “She has really blossomed through the years and taking the initiative now to find ways to help out on her own … her father and I are just really proud of her.”