West Linn High senior Samantha Reed's passion is working with special needs children

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - West Linn High School senior Samantha Reed teaches a weekend dance class for special needs children among many other community-involved activitiesSamantha Reed has been chosen to represent West Linn as the Tidings' "Amazing Kid."

Reed will join more than two dozen other students at a special event on May 8 — hosted by Pamplin Media Group and held at OMSI — that honors young people from across northwest Oregon who have shown a deep commitment to community service.

In choosing each Amazing Kid honoree, the Pamplin Media Group selection committee placed a heavy emphasis on volunteerism that makes a difference in the lives of other people.

On May 11, Reed will be featured in a full-color special section that will be included not only in the Spokesman but in newspapers across the state, reaching more than 425,000 community-minded readers.

Reed, a senior at West Linn High School, spends her summers volunteering at a therapeutic summer camp for children with special needs called Camp Yakity Yak, and teaches a weekly dance class for special needs children every weekend. She's a volunteer intern for the West Linn-Wilsonville Education Foundation, is a member of the West Linn High School Key Club and is also the student advisor for the school's Unified Club.

"Each child is so different with such a different set of needs," she says about her work with special needs children. "I find it fun to figure out each kid and what makes them who they are to be able to help them personally."

In 2014, Pamplin Media Group created the Amazing Kids award to recognize young people who were committed to making a difference in their communities. The hope was that by sharing their stories, others would be inspired to do the same.

Honoring these amazing kids wouldn't be possible without the generous support of community-minded businesses like Healthy Pet, West Linn's community sponsor. Thanks to their sponsorship, we can share the good deeds of all our honorees in the hopes that others will be inspired to do the same.

The Pamplin Media Group's Amazing Kid event is presented by Pacific West Roofing and made possible thanks to the support of local businesses who believe in the value of giving back to their community. These companies include Coastal Farm and Ranch, EleMar of Oregon, Stonebridge Homes and The Closet Factory.

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