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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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André Nguyen puts his focus on helping others succeed.

André, a student at Spartanburg Day School, shows compassion and enthusiasm for helping his classmates, teacher Danielle Frías said.

“In his first week of fifth grade, André prepared a speech and was chosen by his peers to represent their grade in the student government,” she said. “He has proven to be an active leader in that role. In academics, André puts great effort and care into his work, striving for excellence. He is quick to volunteer as a teammate, a student and a friend. André voluntarily assists classmates who struggle with note taking and organization. He does so in a way that is encouraging and positive.”

André’s mother, Kim Duckett, said a school event last year speaks to his attitude toward others. A younger student and teammate was falling back in a run when André stepped in to help.

“His team was ahead and he was one of the leaders,” she said. “Instead of running to win, he ran back and got the little boy and put him on his back.”

Away from school, André enjoys volunteering with Spartanburg Humane Society and playing sports and video games. He said he also likes to help friends with homework.

“The sports I play are team sports, so I have to learn to communicate with them and share the ball with him,” he said.

Teamwork and good communications will be important skills in his future career, if André gets his way.

“When I grow up, I want to be an engineer and I want to work on car engines,” he said.

Nomination excerpt: “André shows great compassion and enthusiasm for helping others. He is insightful, cooperative, cheerful, curious, motivated and kind. André exemplifies the values that we honor and encourage in our school. He is simply a delightful young boy!”

Students Who Make a Difference: Charlotte Alexander

Students Who Make a Difference: Elijah Brockman

Students Who Make a Difference: Dylan LaPlace

Students Who Make a Difference: Tamyra Lattimore

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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