KENANSVILLE — Callie Thornton, a recent graduate of North Duplin Jr/Sr High School, was recently named the North Carolina District Exchange Club Youth of the Year. Callie received a $1,000 scholarship and was sponsored by the Exchange Club of Mount Olive.

Callie has been involved in many fundraisers and service projects in her local and surrounding communities. She has helped coordinate the Books for Buddies program at North Duplin Elementary, has helped with the John Roland Sullivan Scholarship Benefit for several years, and actively volunteered at Sampson Regional Center in Clinton.

She also founded, on her own, “The Rose Project: Notes of Love,” in which she made paper roses from tissue paper and wrote special notes to go along with them to nursing home residents during the pandemic. Within eight months, she had made and delivered over 1,000 roses and notes to fourteen different nursing homes, logging over 600 miles across Eastern North Carolina.

Callie plans to attend Coker University in Hartsville, South Carolina in the fall of 2021, where she will play on the school’s softball team.

Editor’s Note: This story was contributed by Duplin County Schools.

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