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Meet 10 students in the Upstate who are making a difference in their communities. CINDY HOSEA/Staff

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Elijah Brockman shows the qualities of a reliable leader far beyond what his age would predict.

Elijah is a student at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Greenville. His teacher, Kathy Burns, said he is the type of student teachers dream of having in their class.

“He is always the first one to volunteer to help to do anything and always does a great job,” she said. “He is caring and thoughtful to everyone around him. Sometimes I will look up from helping a student and see that he is helping another student, quietly and encouragingly. He is a leader at our school — the younger students are always looking up to him, and his classmates are always following his lead on how to act and what to do. He is often chosen for leadership roles, for example, reading at church and having the lead in the class play.”

Kenia Brockman, Elijah’s mother, said he has always been kind.

“He is always looking for opportunities to help others anywhere we go,” she said. “He’s a person who meets no stranger. I think he wins them over because he asks them questions and has people talk about themselves. He’s more of a listener than a talker. He knows how to have empathy to others. When there is something others don’t want to do, he volunteers. He always says he is trying to please God, and he shows it more than he says it.”

Elijah said he loves playing basketball and playing outside. He also enjoys drawing and reading. As for being a leader at school, Elijah is matter-of-fact about his role.

“I’m showing them how they should be,” he said.

Nomination excerpt: “Elijah Brockman is the type of student every teacher dreams about. He is always the first one to volunteer to help to do anything and always does a great job. ... I can already see his desire to make a difference in the world, either through class talks on conservation or a letter he wrote to President Donald Trump where he talked about the value of every life.”

Students Who Make a Difference: Charlotte Alexander

Students Who Make a Difference: Dylan LaPlace

Students Who Make a Difference: Tamyra Lattimore

Students Who Make a Difference: André Nguyen

Students Who Make a Difference: Etta Smith

Students Who Make a Difference: Jordan Smith

Students Who Make a Difference: Henry Sun

Students Who Make a Difference: Chase Watson

Students Who Make a Difference: Miguel Zuñiga-Jiminez

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