OTTAWA — Gabi Dershem, a student at Miller City High School, went above and beyond on a recent class assignment, striving to improve the mindset of the entire middle school and high school student body.
Her actions garnered a nomination for a Putnam County Optimist Club Character Award.
Speech students at Miller City were assigned to perform a random act of kindness toward another student. Immediately, Dershem knew she wanted to deliver anonymous, positive messages to other students. She wanted to do this project with the high school, but she also remembered how difficult middle school can be and felt the benefit might be even greater for them. Faced with the choice, she decided to do both. She didn’t want anyone to be left out.
Dershem spent about six hours writing individual positive messages by hand. She spent about two hours delivering the messages.
Dershem exemplifies many aspects of the Optimist Creed,” said Kristina Hoffman, guidance counselor at Miller City High School. “She is strong in her own happiness and positivity, and she keeps herself actively involved in projects that share her enthusiasm with others.”