St. Charles High School senior Kate O’Meara donated backpacks and school supplies to Eva Turner and Dr. Gustavus Brown elementary schools at the beginning of the year.
O’Meara founded Project Leaders 2 Leaders, a nonprofit to help students and those in need. Attending Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) in her sophomore year, O’Meara learned personal, group and leadership skills.
“I learned about how I can help make a difference to the world, but it wasn’t until I went back to HOBY as a volunteer in my junior year that I truly was inspired to help my community,” she said. She began to raise money in June with a goal to have the backpacks donated to the schools by August.
“After a few months of hard work, I was able to donate 29 backpacks to each school,” O’Meara said. “I even had extra supplies that I donated to help teachers stock up their rooms, or for the school to use in case anybody needs supplies.” She and her friend, senior Mackenzie Shughart, loaded the backpacks with supplies and delivered them.
O’Meara is usually on the move. She is St. Charles’ student liaison to the Board of Education of Charles County, an officer in the National Honor Society, president of the Key Club at St. Charles and is in the National Thespian Society and played Mary Sunshine in the school’s spring production of “Chicago, High School Edition.”
She had been on the field hockey team for four years and is captain this year and played basketball and lacrosse as an underclassman. O’Meara is also a member of the math club, It’s Academic and Model UN. Carrying a 4.6 weighted GPA, she plans to study nursing in college has been accepted into several schools.
O’Meara aims to expand the backpack project next year by donating 60 backpacks. “I hope this will help students in their academic efforts, and that it will encourage learning,” she said. “A small ripple can lead to a big wave, and I hope my small ripple of providing students a backpack will help create a wave in the future.”
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,108 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.