Local fourth grader receives Student Hero Award

Sanchez Ochoa Elementary School fourth grader Ethan Hernandez took the time and effort to collect plastic caps to help cover the expenses for a cancer patient.
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A local elementary school student is receiving some state recognition for his act of kindness.

Imagine taking the time to collect plastic caps to help cover the expenses for a cancer patient, well that’s exactly what Sanchez Ochoa Elementary School fourth grader Ethan Hernandez did on his own time in order to help someone he looks up to.

This is something that’s earned him the title of “Student Hero.”

“I’m really really happy that I can help people and that i’m getting recognized,” said Ethan.

Monday morning, Ethan received the 2020 Student Hero award.

The fourth grader has been volunteering since he was younger but it was his recent efforts to help his coach that stands out to state officials.

“When he heard that his coach’s brother was sick, I didn’t even know that he was actually collecting some on his own,” said his mother Jessica Hernandez.

It all started with a small bag of plastic caps that Ethan started collecting.

According to his mom Jessica, he would take the caps to his coach during practice.

After seeing the passion their son had for making a different they decided to get a hold of an organization that assists families who have loved ones with cancer.

They discovered a non-profit in Nuevo Laredo called Alianza Ciudadana Cipres.

With the help of the community, Ethan started gathering boxes and boxes full of caps.

Due the pandemic, the organization is no longer able to cross the bridge to pick up Ethan’s collection, but that’s not stopping him from helping the community.

“We are doing food can drives, we are helping with animal shelters to volunteer," said Jessica. "We’re doing little things at the moment with everything that’s going on.”

Out of thousands of public schools in Texas, Ethan was one of the few that stood out for his act of kindness.

He says he will continue to collect bottle caps to help raise money to pay for cancer patients' chemotherapy.

This award goes to nearly 15 students in the state every year.

In order to earn the title students need to perform good deeds that benefit other students, their campus, or community.

Students are nominated by their educators or community members.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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