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


Henry Sun excels in the classroom and at the piano, but his greatest triumph is as a role model to others.

Henry is a student at Woodland Elementary School in Greer. Fifth-grade teacher Jennifer DeMatteo said he is an exceptional student and much more.

“Aside from academics, Henry is a member of the Chess Club as well as the Beta Club,” she said. “He recently performed in the Beta Club State Convention in the section of math and placed first in the state. He will go on to National Convention this spring to compete in the National Beta Convention.”

Henry’s mother, Amy Yang, said both Henry and his older brother have a passion for learning. She said her sons help in the community, including playing piano at a nursing home. Henry was featured recently on SCETV Radio playing a piece he wrote for piano. DeMatteo said he regularly plays piano at school events for both students and community.

“When I play piano, making the piece the best it can sound, it can be a challenge when the piece is hard,” Henry said.

But he doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Henry loves playing soccer and studying math and he wants to be a doctor one day, “possibly a surgeon,” he said.

Henry’s mother said his compassion for others is evident.

“Henry has a warm heart,” she said.

Nomination excerpt: “Henry also plays violin, soccer, and enjoys spending his free time studying math on Khan Academy and other math sites. He enjoys reading and spending time with his family. Overall, Henry would be an excellent feature in your story as he is an exemplary student and role model for his peers.”

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