Daily Point of Light # 2290 Nov 13, 2002

Allison Kellogg has watched lives changed because of her volunteer service. Six years ago, Kyri, a five year old girl, appeared in her first ballet class for disadvantaged children. On that day, as Allison taught simple ballet movement to Kyri and the other students, Kyri discovered her gift for dance and Allison discovered the exhilaration that comes from volunteer service.

For three years in high school Allison taught dance to disadvantaged children. When she graduated, she found corporate sponsors who then funded scholarships for her most committed students. During her freshman year at the University of Alabama, Allison began teaching free classes at the Boys and Girls Club in Tuscaloosa.

In an effort to reach more children, Allison created an after school program called “Star Kids” in the spring of 2000. This program teaches children to use their talents to improve the lives of others. She wrote a coloring book, produced a video, and created an instruction manual which were funded by Mississippi Valley Gas Corporation and WAPT-TV.

Allison’s “Star Kids” program encourages kids to know that they are important, and that they all have gifts that can be used to make the world a better place. She has presented the program in Boys and Girls Clubs, the United Way Youth in Action programs, the Mississippi Volunteer Commission’s annual conference, and the JC Penney after school programs. For the past two summers, she has presented the program at the Be Your Best Self Camp for girls in Salt Lake City, Utah where she has also worked as a volunteer counselor.

In May of 2000, she wrote a grant to fund dance lessons through the Doublemint For Campus Excellence program. Only fifty grants were awarded from the 14,000 applications received. The two thousand dollar grant has been used to fund dance lessons at the Madison County Cultural Center.

In addition, Allison initiated the first Madison Mayor’s Youth Council this fall. She researched councils, served on the steering committee, and created all forms that have been used. This council was designed to give teenagers the opportunity to serve the community and foster a working partnership with local government while also providing a process for the city to receive opinions from youth regarding policies and practices that affect their lives.

Six years later, Kyri continues to dance. Allison has maintained the relationship and hopes that one day, Kyri use her own gift to make the world a better place to live.