Monday, April 25, 2011

A for Effort

Typical teens today are busier than ever, but Alana Ethridge takes it up a notch further. As if balancing academics, extracurriculars, and TV & film jobs (including a stint on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?") weren't enough, the 14-year-old started her own foundation, Alana's Achievers, through Athletes for Education. The goal? Help other kids "achieve their dreams and set positive goals in life" and build the habits they need to get there, from strong school attendance to healthy eating and regular exercise. Understanding that extracurriculars are a pathway to discovering passions, she's offered modest scholarships for disadvantaged kids to cover the cost of these programs. She's raised funds for sick kids, including 9-year-old Danielle Lerma, who is in treatment for a rare blood disease. And she's promoted literacy, recruiting young celebs to visit her school in support of reading programs and partnering with Storytime for Me, aimed at early childhood literacy. You'd think she'd be tuckered out by now, but something tells me Alana's just getting started ...

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