News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Kate O’Meara, right, a senior at St. Charles High School, donated backpacks and school supplies to Dr. Gustavas Brown Elementary School at the beginning of the school year. She and her friend, Mackenzie Shugart, left, were welcomed at the school by Principal Karen Lewis.

St. Charles High School senior Kate O’Meara donated backpacks and school supplies to Eva Turner and Dr. Gustavus Brown elementary schools at the beginning of the school year.

O’Meara founded Project Leaders 2 Leaders, a nonprofit to help students and those in need. Attending Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) in her sophomore year, O’Meara learned personal, group and leadership skills.

“I learned about how I can help make a difference to the world, but it wasn’t until I went back to HOBY as a volunteer in my junior year that I truly was inspired to help my community,” she said. She began to raise money in June with a goal to have backpacks donated to the schools by August.

Kate O’Meara, third from left, a senior at St. Charles High School, donated backpacks and school supplies to Eva Turner Elementary School at the beginning of the school year. She and her friend, Mackenzie Shugart, left, were met by Principal Ingrid Williams-Horton, second from left, and school counselor, Devette Price.

“After a few months of hard work, I was able to donate 29 backpacks to each school,” O’Meara said. “I even had extra supplies that I donated to help teachers stock up their rooms, or for the school to use in case anybody needs supplies.” She and her friend, senior Mackenzie Shughart, loaded the backpacks with supplies and delivered them.

O’Meara is usually on the move. She is St. Charles’ student liaison to the Board of Education of Charles County, an officer in the National Honor Society, president of the Key Club at St. Charles, is in the National Thespian Society and played Mary Sunshine in the school’s spring production of “Chicago, High School Edition.”

She had been on the field hockey team for four years and is captain this year. She played basketball and lacrosse as an underclassman. O’Meara is also a member of the math club, It’s Academic and Model UN at St. Charles. Carrying a 4.6 weighted GPA, she plans to study nursing in college has been accepted into several schools.

O’Meara aims to expand the backpack project next year by donating 60 backpacks. “I hope this will help students in their academic efforts, and that it will encourage learning,” she said. “A small ripple can lead to a big wave, and I hope my small ripple of providing students a backpack will help create a wave in the future.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...