Student Profile:
Kaycee Gallup, Senior
The Marist School

Four years ago, incoming freshmen at Wesleyan School got more than they bargained for when they walked through the building’s double doors.

Bulky textbooks? Check. New schedules? Check. Unfamiliar teachers? Check.

An envelope with $100 from the dean’s wallet to “do something beautiful for God?” Huh?

“The dean spent $40,000 for us to do something for ourselves and the community,” said Kaycee Gallup, then a Wesleyan freshman and now a Marist senior. “Obviously, it’s inevitable that some high school students won’t spend the money well, but I just got so angry when I heard students talking about buying video games. I promised myself to do something good with the money and expand it.”

Kaycee can safely say she kept her promise – around $76,000 later.

Teaming up with two classmates, she has raised the money for Care International, a non-profit humanitarian organization devoted to fighting global poverty.

By delivering letters to 600 houses, emailing everyone in their mail accounts, having fellow freshmen donate their $100 and giving a speech to the entire school, the three girls were able to raise $19,000, which was then matched by an anonymous donor. That amount was then doubled by Care, reaching a total of $76,000 — enough to feed nearly 300,000 starving children for a day.

Kaycee was not satisfied, however. After taking a mission trip to Nicaragua this past summer and seeing poverty first-hand, she wanted to do more.

“It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the hunger and pain these people were going through. I knew I had to start my project again for them.”

This time around, her goal is to raise $50,000 – including $12,500 on her own, as well as matching donations.

She has already raised $6,500 in two months and is confident she will reach her goal shortly. But her desire to help others will not be ending anytime soon.

“My parents have told me that since I was 3 all I wanted to do with my stuff was to give it to someone else,” Kaycee said. “I guess I just have always liked making people smile.”

She is also a member of the National Charity League, where she has performed 636 hours of community service hours since the seventh grade. Apart from saving the world, Kaycee is a four-year varsity softball athlete and helped the Marist with the state championship last year. This season, Marist is ranked No. 1 in its region, and, according to Kaycee, “hopefully has a pretty good chance of winning again.”

What’s Next:

Kaycee hopes to go to the University of Georgia next year and continue her passion for helping others by majoring in Special Education.

“Helping people is just natural for me. It’s what I love,” she said. “That’s what I want to spend my life doing.”

– Amanda Wolkin