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Cabell County Student Recognized For Service
By Kera Mashek
February 26, 2014


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) -- Cabell Midland senior Katie Cowie of Milton has been selected as West Virginia’s top high school youth volunteer in the 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Cowie was nominated for this award by Cabell Midland High School. She has raised money for a variety of causes by making and selling “tie-knot” blankets though a nonprofit organization she created. The project grew out of a church retreat that focused on making a difference.

“It was here I realized I was focusing too much on myself and not enough on others,” Cowie said.

After some brainstorming, Cowie's own nonprofit, “Blossom,” was born. With $100 of her own money, she filed the necessary paperwork for nonprofit status, purchased fabric and went to work on her first blanket. Her blanket sales have enabled her to support causes, including providing shelter for homeless families and helping women quit prostitution.

When Cowie was in the 11th grade, she went to a local laundromat one Saturday a month to pay for customers’ laundry. She also has organized a “hat day” for the elementary schools in her county to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

“Spending time on other people instead of myself is better than anything I could have experienced in high school," Cowie said.

As a state honoree, Cowie will receive a $1,000 award, and engraved silver medallion and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in early May, where she will join the top two honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During this trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2014.

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