A William Monroe Middle School student is using her pageant platform to help hungry students in Greene County.
Kayden Hall, a sixth-grader and Miss Virginia Junior High, partnered with Greene County Public Schools’ Nutrition Program to create an account to help pay for kids’ lunches.
Hall said the account is part of her personal platform of Humble Hands Helping Hunger, but also the Miss High School America’s National Platform Building Respect and Values for Everyone (BRAVE). The Miss High School America Scholarship Pageant Organization was started in 2009.
“BRAVE is really making sure everyone throughout our schools and communities are being treated how they should be treated,” Hall said. “In schools they’re really focusing on making sure kids are being respected. That starts tying in with my personal platform Humble Hands Helping Huger and partnering with the nutrition program where we’re taking monetary donations and putting them toward school accounts for students who don’t have enough money to buy their school meals.”
Hall said sometimes those students who know their account is at zero or close to it won’t even go to lunch because of fear of people laughing at them.
“When I was in fifth grade, it really hit hard because my friend and I were sitting at the lunch table, and she went up to get something and her lunch account was negative so she didn’t get any food,” Hall said. “She came back to the table and she was really upset and the lunch lady came over to her and said it’s OK if your lunch account is negative you can still get something eat. And that day, she didn’t get anything to eat.”
Hall said she’s seen others laugh at those in the lunch line when their accounts are negative.
“I’ve gone up to them and said it’s not funny that their lunch account is negative, it’s not funny that they don’t have enough food, it’s not funny their family doesn’t have enough food to provide for them—none of this is really a funny topic,” she said.
She said she had to deal with bullying throughout her elementary years herself.
“I have a certain heart for people going through poverty,” she said. “I hate to see people that struggle with trying to find money or trying to find ways to cope because they can’t buy food or they can’t afford food.”
Hall said some of her friends have been through similar situations and she tries to bring extra food in her lunch to help.
“It’s also important for the people in our community to take care of themselves, but it’s hard to do that if you don’t have the food that you need,” Hall said. “Giving back to my community is something that I’ve always really had a heart for; making sure that my community is healthy and happy and doing well.”
Hall also clogs as a member of the Elite Revolution Cloggers and really enjoys reading.
“I really like doing pageants, too,” she said.
The national pageant will be held June 21-23 in Arkansas.
“I really like connecting with the girls; there’s a lot of girls that come from everywhere,” Hall said.
Hall said she hopes the Humble Hands Account will help kids in school develop a sense of confidence and know that what they’re going through is OK; there is a way out.
“I want to make sure people know the golden rule-treat others the way you want to be treated,” Hall said. “School’s already hard. Bullying people is only making it harder on the others and themselves.”
Hall has a GoFundMe set up to collect for the Humble Hands Account and is also selling cakes at $8 and half the profit goes toward the account and the other half will help her pay for her trip to nationals.