The basics: Morgyn Peabody, 19, is a freshman at Fresno State majoring in prenursing.
What she does: Peabody, who was put in foster care for the first time when she was 14, works with the Visalia Police Activities League as a mentor for 15 foster youths. Through the program she recently volunteered at a coat drive for kids in Visalia and a breakfast with Santa Claus that fed 460 low-income family members and gave kids an opportunity to get a gift. She also took part in the annual Christmas tree lighting at Oval Park in Visalia.
Why she does it: "I loved seeing other people's reaction when low-income families or low-income kids or foster youth are still giving back to the community," Peabody said.
The turning point: "The way I look at it is: Foster care saved my life," Peabody said. "I was put into foster care and they saved me and I want to give back to the community that saved me and that helped me get where I am today."
Details, details: The Visalia Police Activities League, established in 1991, is an after-school crime prevention program for local kids to build positive relationships with police officers and the rest of the community. The goal is to build mutual trust with police officers through activities in a nonconfrontational setting. An emphasis is placed on offering educational and recreational programs to at-risk youths ages 7 to 17.
What others say: "She's an exceptional young lady," said Debbie Terry, vice president of the Visalia PAL board of directors. "She just believes so much in giving back to the community because she feels she's been given so much."
How you can help: The services provided to kids are free but require donations. It costs $1,600 to fully support a kid for one year. Donations may be mailed to Visalia PAL at 303 S. Johnson St., Visalia, CA 93291. For more information about donation opportunities, call (559) 733-2233.
-- Jacob Rayburn