Eleven-year-old already understands the important of volunteering


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NORTH BRUNSWICK – An 11-year-old has been honored for making an impact in her community.

Cassandra Updegraff has been selected as the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services Scholar/Athlete/Artist for January.

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Cassandra is a seventh grade student at Linwood Middle School. As a young child, she excelled in academics, bypassing the second grade, according to the proclamation read during the Jan. 16 council meeting.

She is currently a High Honor Roll student, taking advanced math and advanced language arts.

Cassie won the first Judd Elementary School spelling bee and went on to participate in the regional spelling bee at Monmouth University. She also received the Peacemaker Award when she was a student at Judd, according to the proclamation.

Cassie is a member of the Seventh Grade Concert Choir and the Auditioned Concert Choir Group. She attends Vision Dance Center and participates in several dance competitions and recitals every year. Cassie also spends many hours preparing for holiday performances at Park Place Nursing Home in South Brunswick, according to the proclamation.

Cassie sings and acts in the Nassau Presbyterian Church Princeton Christmas Pageant as well as other art presentations. She participates in preparing lunches for the Trenton Soup Program, hygiene kits for Church World Service, and donating food to the church food pantry, according to the proclamation.

Cassie also serves as a peer tutor during her lunch periods at Linwood, helping others with schoolwork.

Cassie said she was quite surprised by the award, thanking the mayor and council for their support.

“I love going to Linwood and getting to experience all of the opportunities I have there,” Cassie said. “I want to thank my family for supporting me all the time and driving me places and helping me with all of my homework.”

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.

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