Nokomis student first teen to win national veterans award:
By Jesse Scardina, Staff Writer centralmain.com
Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel
Felix Thibodeau’s money-raising efforts for Togus VA won the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans honor.
A Nokomis Regional High School student who spearheaded efforts to raise more than $22,000 to help an agency that helps homeless veterans with health care issues has become the first teenager ever honored with a top award from the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans.
Felix Thibodeau, IV, 17, and a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, supervised about 10 JROTC cadets last summer raising money for VA Maine Healthcare System-Togus and its work with homeless veterans.
From July 20 to Aug 19, Thibodeau and the cadets raised about $15,600, working at tables outside local businesses. During school break in February, they did the same thing, raising another $7,000.
Thibodeau’s enthusiasm for the project came naturally. The Etna native said he has wanted to be in the Army since he can remember.
“I could not have gotten nearly as far as I did without the help of the cadets with me,” said Thibodeau, who is a cadet lieutenant colonel. “We were standing outside for 13-hour shifts in the middle of February. People like seeing high school students getting involved in the community and that goes back to JROTC and the core values it instills.”
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is a nonprofit organization and assistance center for a national network of service providers for homeless veterans, which provides emergency housing, food, health services and job training for hundreds of thousands of veterans each year, according to its website.
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