Meet 10 students in the Upstate who are making a difference in their communities.


Dylan LaPlace is already known for his integrity and leadership.

Jenny Raines, Dylan’s teacher at Chandler Creek Elementary School in Greer, said he has a heart of gold.

“Dylan possesses so many qualities that prove that he is wise beyond his years,” she said. “He carries himself in such a way every day that shows his integrity. Dylan is always helping others and definitely has strong leadership qualities.”

Beyond the classroom, Dylan is a member of the school’s Coding Club and an avid soccer player.

“He loves music and he loves soccer,” Angela LaPlace, Dylan’s mother, said. “He’s who I typically describe as an exceptionally compassionate child. I think he’s been gifted with an incredible discernment beyond his years.”

Dylan has been involved with his church’s homeless ministry for years.

“He went as young as 5,” his mother said. “He always wanted to be there. He would wake up early on Saturday morning to go. I think his friends see him as a leader — someone who is confident but kind.”

“I’ve always loved helping other people,” Dylan said. “It doesn’t make me feel good when other people aren’t having a good day.”

Dylan said he loves running and playing soccer, but music holds a special place in his heart.

“When I hear music, it speaks to me,” he said. “I like to know what it means.”

Nomination excerpt: “He has the utmost respect for everyone and a heart of gold. ... I can't think of a more deserving student than Dylan LaPlace. Years after he is gone, I will still remember his character and passion for learning.”

Students Who Make a Difference: Charlotte Alexander

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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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