Autumn Banks already understands the joy found in helping others.

A student at Pacolet Elementary in Spartanburg, Autumn dedicates hours each week to helping with HALTER, Healing and Learning Through Equine Relationships, a therapeutic horseback riding program that serves Spartanburg-area children with special needs, as well as students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. Autumn has one brother and is the daughter of Jason and Christy Banks.

“Autumn is a side walker,” Christy Banks said. “She helps assist while the children get to ride, and she helps with training. All the kids love her and are disappointed when she isn’t there.”

Autumn said she also helps with cleaning up and grooming the horses. She volunteers with her grandmother at HALTER, often once or twice each week, as her schedule permits. At school, she is known for lending a hand if a fellow student is struggling with a lesson or if they just need a friend.

“When I see somebody who is lonely at school, I try to sit with them,” she said.

Christy Banks said her daughter has a big heart and likes to make people feel like they belong.

“It makes me feel great on the inside that I have helped somebody,” Autumn said. “It helps me be happy to know that I’ve helped people.”

Nomination excerpt 

“Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and one for helping others.” It’s amazing at the age of 10, Autumn Banks has already realized this. Autumn is truly a young philanthropist at heart. Autumn gives her time in and out of the classroom to others. In our classroom, she works to help students that are struggling to learn material that she has already mastered. Autumn is a high-achieving student that is an honor roll student. Outside of school, she and her grandmother volunteer their time after school at Spartanburg’s local therapeutic horse riding program, HALTER, helping handicapped and disabled children. Autumn’s future is a bright one, not only because of her academic ability, but because her heart cares for others!”

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