"5th Grader" Star Pays It Forward

Alana is not just your average 12-year old

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The aspiring actress also works with the Athletes for Education program with the San Diego Chargers. Program participants read to kids at local schools.

    A local girl who had a turn as a game-show contestant is using her success to help less-fortunate kids in her community.

    San Diego tween Alana Ethridge may have earned a name for herself two years ago on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?,” but after talking with her, many would say she is wiser than most adults. Recently, she started a program called Alana’s Achievers, which helps kids aged 4-16 set positive goals and achieve their dreams.

    "5th Grader" Star Pays It Forward

    [DGO] "5th Grader" Star Pays It Forward
    Most 12-year-olds are concerned with video games, hanging out with friends and pizza. One local kid is already a T-V star who uses her spare time helping others. (Published Saturday, Aug 15, 2009)

    “I’m 12 years old and maybe I could make a difference ... it’s not all about me,” the local philanthropist said.

    Alana’s program (motto: "You can do anything you can dream") provides $50 scholarships to kids to help pay for afterschool activities that many kids from her school and around the county would otherwise be unable to afford.

    “My vision is to go worldwide and help out billions and billions of people,” Alana said.

    All this overachieving has made Alana a role model for her peers and in her community.

    “I think that that’s a great role model -- when you help out somebody else, not just yourself,” Alana said.

    Helping people in her community is easy for Alana, and she is challenging others to do the same.

    President Obama has put out a challenge to America that you try to do everything that you can in the community, and I think I can do that, so why don’t you?”  Alana said.

    Families can apply for Alana's Achievers scholarship by visiting her Web site.