STUDENT Spotlight
Rylie Arnett, Advocate for Animals

Student Spotlight is a regularly-updated feature that highlights Baltimore County Public Schools students involved in a wide range of activities and programs. In this Student Spotlight, Rylie Arnett , a Grade 6 student at Sparrows Point Middle School, discusses her involvement in advocacy for animals. (To see more student spotlights, click here.)

Student SpotlightTell us about the drive you organized to secure more supplies for local animal shelters.
Ever since we had a food drive, I wanted to give animals a chance to have a spotlight. You know, animals can't speak for themselves; we have to speak for them. I, along with the rest of the Tolerance Team, asked students and teachers to bring in dry cat or dog food, animal toys, cat litter, paper towels, and other items needed at animal shelters between March 17 and March 30.  We decorated boxes and put them in homeroom teachers' classrooms.
What inspired you to do this?
I was inspired to do this when Ms. Gearhart and Spirit (an education assistance dog) came to our school from the Snyder Foundation, the place where we are donating the items. They came in to educate us on animal abuse. Before they even left, I came up with the idea. I thought to myself, "Animals can't speak for themselves," plus it would be nice to donate items for them.

What lessons did you learn by organizing this drive?
The lesson I learned was think about other people, not just yourself. Also, don't be selfish. I got the unselfishness from my father; he always told me to think about others.

What are your other interests besides animals?  What subjects do you enjoy most in school?  What do you like doing outside of school?
I love learning in school and reading. I enjoy my science teacher, Ms. Fox; my language arts teacher, Mrs. Swiech; and my world cultures teacher, Ms. Strong. I enjoy being part of Tolerance Team. Outside of school, I like to read and play with my dog.

Why is it important for young people to take action and support causes?
It's important to take action because you can come up with great ideas, just like this idea. Plus you can help others.

What are your goals for the rest of the school year?
My biggest goal is to finish school and go to college to become a teacher. I also want to help other people and animals.


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