Not every teen has a good experience in high school, but Shelby Bollinger strives to change that.
The 16-year-old junior at North Hardin High School is part of the Green Dot Committee, a personal violence prevention program.
“You try to cheer others up or do certain things so people feel like they’re not alone and just help people out if they’re having a rough life here or at home,” she said of the Green Dot program.
Bollinger said a lot teens don’t get the attention they need at home or feel very lonely. Coming to school in an open and welcoming environment is good for them.
“School is really important in general and it’s really good to have that here,” she said.
Bollinger’s been involved with the Green Dot program since she was a freshman.
The program has a big green mascot and she dressed up in the costume once at a football game but said it was way too hot and probably will leave the costume to others in the future.
Much of what Bollinger does happens at lunch time. She’ll sit at the green dot table to talk to students about the program. She also helps with a changing tree display in the lunchroom, where students can post what they are thankful for or what they love, depending on the season.
She also is involved as a Youth Service Center representative. In that role, if someone in her class needs to talk, she’s available. She then takes needs and concerns to the Youth Service Center coordinator. She also has regular meetings where she discusses the work of the Youth Services Center.
“She is very responsible, organized and always willing to help,” said Leslie Hall, Youth Services Center coordinator at North Hardin.
What impresses her most about Bollinger is she’s OK being in the background when she works on projects.
“That takes a level of self-assurance to be able to know she will help and no one will know,” Hall said. “She’s a hard worker and anything we ask she is willing and capable to do.”
Hall has known her since Bollinger attended Woodland Elementary School and said she’s always been humble and sweet.
Bollinger said she knows the community well because her family is not only involved in the Radcliff area but also in her church, North Hardin Christian Church.
She is the middle child of five kids.
“I’ve lived here all my life, this is home and giving back is really heartwarming to me,” she said.
That’s why for her birthday this year she did a sock drive. She collected more than 900 socks and gave them to Norton’s Children’s Hospital.
In the future, she hopes to do something with law but hasn’t figured out the specifics yet.