DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Community-focused - it's a term that teachers say sums up one Darlington County Student.
Cates Saleeby is making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate as well as leading the classroom.
"It's more fun to be involved. I meet a ton of new different people, it gives me an opportunity to give back to my community a little bit more," Cates said.
Saleeby said not only is giving back to the community something that is necessary, but it's also something that fills her life with productivity.
"It brings a lot more fulfillment in life. It gives you more of a purpose I think. Especially when you can reach out into the community and help another person," Cates said.
Cates is described as humble by teachers and administrators at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School.
"Every year I do a book drive through the book club," Cates said.
This past February, Cates partnered with a local Florence charity; they fed the hungry and Cates fed the soul.
"I did 616 books, which went into the backpacks of hungry kids, who would not have had food over the weekend. Help for Kids provides the food. Normally children who don't access to regular food don't have access to books either. I was able to provide that for them," Cates said.
She also keeps busy with a full academic schedule.
"Student Council, National Honor Society, National French Honor Society and National French Honor Society and National French Honor Society," Cates said.
And speaking of foreign language, Cates is not lagging in the pack, she even takes Latin Six.
"I started taking them in 7th and 9th grades. My classes have been so small that I have gotten a lot of practice here at school," Cates said.
As far as college goes, this young lady has her options wide open. Schools like Harvard, Vanderbilt University and Princeton have already accepted her.
Humbly, Cates said without her family she would not be where she is today.
"My family has been supporting and encouraging though all of my efforts. They helped me so much and I love them," Cates said.