Beau Zimbro is a true Neighborhood Hero. In October, 2013, Beau’s house exploded from a natural gas leak. While on fire, he managed to carry his girlfriend, who was also on fire, out of the house. Beau had enough courage and wherewithal to quickly think about someone other than himself, while he was in excruciating pain and in a dire situation. His act of bravery and selflessness clearly saved both of their lives! Currently, both Beau, and his girlfriend, Tiara are in the Arizona Burn Center, with a long road to recovery ahead of them. Simply stated, Beau is a genuine neighborhood hero. On behalf of Beau, his mother, Marie Zimbro accepted his award along with a check from AAM for the Maricopa Health Foundation.
Katelynn Lewallen, an 11 year old girl living in the Landmark neighborhood, is already an altruistic philanthropist. As a budding artist, Katelynn donates the money she makes from selling her artwork to the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Inspired by her grandfather and his passing from a brain tumor in 2010, Katelynn’s goal is to raise $1,000 for brain tumor research.
Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is internationally recognized as a leader in neurological research and patient care. Barrow treats patients with a wide range of neurological conditions, including brain and spinal tumors, cerebrovascular conditions, and neuromuscular disorders. Barrow's clinicians and researchers are devoted to providing excellent patient care and finding better ways to treat neurological disorders.
Katelynn’s selfless act of giving back and helping when no one is asking is what makes this world a better place and why Landmark chose her to be their Neighborhood Hero.
Brinley Walters 8th grader at Norterra Canyon School decided it would be fun to list 20 things she loves about her closest friends and give them this list. Her friends really liked receiving that list, as it made them feel good. So, in return, they made a list about Brinley and gave it back to her and she was able to experience that good feeling for herself. Then, one Sunday, while spending time with her friends from church, Brinley realized that she always felt so good around these positive, encouraging young ladies and she wished she had that same feeling while at school.
This gave Brinley the idea to take matters into her own hands at school and pass on some positive and encouraging words to people that she felt might need that uplifting moment for one reason or another…. And with that, “Project Encouragement” was born. Brinley decided that she would anonymously sneak a typed letter listing 10 positive attributes about that particular person, into his/her backpack when he or she was not looking. Her hope was that this letter would brighten their day and let the person know that he/she is valuable, important, and worthy of smiling and laughing. Brinley believes that more people need to smile and laugh each and every day.
Initially, Brinley placed anonymous letters in the backpacks of her core group of friends. Then, she branched out to secretly giving her letters to people that she believed needed friends. Eventually, Brinley was ready to give out even more letters to even more deserving recipients. That is where her friend, Ace came into the picture. Brinley confided in Ace about “Project Encouragement” and together they sought out those in need of encouragement, typed the letters, and went about secretly delivering them. Their method of delivery evolved as fellow students became more aware of the letters. First, the letters were covertly placed in backpacks, then on desks, but at the risk of looking “stalkerish,” Brinley and Ace decided the best plan of action would be to give the letters to the teachers, who in turn would pass out the letters to the proper addressees.
Having been on the receiving end of a bully, Brinley knows that one nasty word or action can ruin one’s self esteem. Therefore, Brinley is working hard to do the exact opposite, as she is hoping that her letters of encouragement will build up one’s self esteem, thus making people happy and brightening their day! In fact, one boy in her class gave Brinley a hard time about the letters, until he received one. Brinley said that once he got his own letter, listing his attributes, he changed his tune and was “glowing like a Christmas Tree!” When the students receive these letters, they “get really happy, it changes their mood and attitude and they give that positive feeling right back.”
Brinley’s main goal is to show that 8th graders can be good people that are happy and feel good about themselves without having to follow the crowd or a clique. Each letter ends with a message to “pass it on and encourage others,” as Brinley hopes that eventually she and Ace will not be the only ones doing this and that her remarkable vision will cross over into as many grades as possible. What a magnificent concept, yet such a simple one at heart; to simply be kind to one another. A lesson we should all remember every single day.
Farmington Park neighborhood is fortunate to have a proactive advocate living amongst the community. Abby is the jack of all community trades. Abby has dedicated her time to many improvements and security's for her fellow neighbors. Heading up the Block Watch group she manages the website and writes the quarterly newsletter. Always wanting to create a safe community she is the liaison between the local police Zshe is also a part of the Patrol Neighborhood Program (PNP) as a trainer and recruiter... Abby also takes pride in making improvements to the neighborhood by applying for City Grant funds. Last year she was successful in securing monies to install a crosswalk between the Farmington park community and the local elementary school, this year she has applied for installing solar lighting at the mailboxes within Farmington Park.
And as if this isn't enough to recognize her for her diligence and dedication she has taken on the responsibility to organize the annual community yard sale and the community Clean Up day. For all of these commitments it's no wonder that she would be elected as a Farmington parks neighborhood hero.
The Pointe at Squaw Peak would like to recognize their President, Freda as their neighborhood hero. She has dedicated a tremendous amount of time, energy, and effort in working with board members and contractors in order to enhance Pointe at Squaw Peak’s appeal and security; all while saving the community money. It's not uncommon to see Freda around the community, she may be meeting up with the landscapers to discuss agriculture or pulling weeds from the flower beds. Freda is an example of the continuous effort made to make our community always looks it’s best. It is for this reason that the Point at Squaw Peak is excited to honor Freda as our neighborhood hero.
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We get up every day excited about "Creating a Better America, One Neighborhood at a Time". We are joined in this movement by some truly astounding members of the communities we serve. Our hats our off to them. They are in our hearts and we celebrate them every day!
Know of a hero in your community? Nominate them or yourself! Download the AAM Neighborhood Hero Application today!