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Making a difference

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Editorial: Feb. 25, 2014

KUDOS: Praising positives in our community

Raising money to build a modern animal shelter for Hardin County was an extraordinary gift.

The volunteers who made up the PAWS Shelter Foundation poured hour upon hour into that effort and its benefits will be realized for generations to come.

Now out of that organization, a group aimed at continued involvement on behalf of abandoned pets and stray animals has been born. Four members of the PAWS team have formed Friends of the Hardin County Animal Shelter.

The plans call for fundraising to meet obvious needs that go beyond the shelter's resources plus educating the public on pet care and animal issues. One key component of its early mission has been managing Facebook sites that serve to tract the connection of animals with their new forever families.

The accomplishment represented by the new shelter on Peterson Drive is extraordinary. But the willingness to extend beyond and remain involved in daily pursuit of making this an ideal also deserves the community's appreciation, praise and support.

GEMS TEACHER. When a teacher sees a need and steps up with a solution, certainly children benefit. But the full impact of that accomplishment can change generations of a family and stimulate the entire community.

It may be years before the full yield can be seen but Jessica Russo, a teacher at New Highland Elementary School, has developed a path to bright futures for some bright young girls.

While working on her master's degree, Russo recognized that many girls hesitate from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. To remedy that, she has introduced a national club called Girls Excelling in Math and Science or GEMS to New Highland where problem-solving skills are being developed weekly in an environment of encouragement.

Russo, a fourth-grade teacher, is the jewel behind these young GEMS. And as winner of the Mrs. Kentucky International title, she may have a platform to see this local success duplicated across the state.

As so often is the case, great things begin with one dedicated teacher.

RECOGNIZING FEMALE VETERANS. Another sometimes overlooked opportunity for women is provided by the military. 

One way to ensure that young women recognize this career path is by recognizing women who achieve in it. The Kentucky chapter of the National Association for Black Veterans plans a program to salute women veterans March 8 at Colvin Community Center in Radcliff.

The event is open to the public. Vendors will be set up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. which will be followed by a banquet and awards recognition beginning at 4 p.m. featuring leadership speaker Pamela Stevenson, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.

Stevenson said when she entered the military there were not many women or role models for women.

“We had to figure it out,” she said.

Today, the efforts of NABVets and others are helping make the path more clear.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.