LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - One of the top two youth volunteers in Arkansas was the center of attention Monday in Lake City.
Alexis Roberson is a seventh-grader at Riverside High School.
Region 8 News has followed her efforts to better her community and keep her best friend's memory alive.
Monday, Roberson was honored at an assembly where she was presented an engraved silver medallion to symbolize her selection by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as one of Arkansas' top youth volunteers for 2018.
"At first, I didn't think I was going to get it out of all the kids that could get it, but then whenever I got it I was just so overwhelmed I had to go cry," Roberson said. "I was so excited."
Roberson started an initiative to get coloring books and crayons for children battling illnesses in the hospital.
As we reported in January, Roberson started the coloring book campaign after her best friend Bailey Kelems passed away from B non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
With help from her school, Roberson collected more than 1,500 coloring books and 600 boxes of crayons, but Roberson's volunteering didn't stop there.
"I've been doing this for three years, doing fundraising work, helping my elderly's, collecting blankets, and taking boxes of crayons and coloring books to the children of St. Jude, survival kits, and all this work that I've helped my community and to know that I'm getting to take my friend Bailey, who passed away, all the way to Washington with me that's just really an accomplishment," Roberson said.
As a state honoree, Roberson gets $1,000 and a paid trip to Washington, D.C. in April.
The trip will include several days of national recognition events.
"It means so much from this girl who lives in Caraway, AR, this very very small community, getting to win this big award and going all the way to Washington just to tell my story that's really an accomplishment for me," Roberson said.
At the assembly, the high school band played, elected officials spoke, and a video played all recognizing Roberson's commitment to her community.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selects young people based on their personal initiative, effort, impact, and personal growth.
To read more about the honor and Roberson click here.