Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Congratulations PRIDE Volunteer of the Month: Clay Johnson, Pike County

Clay Johnson and his fellow PRIDE Club members

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award was presented to Clay Johnson, who is holding his plaque in this photo. He is surrounded by his fellow PRIDE Club members. On the left is Betty Brown of the Pike County Clean Community Board. On the right is Pike County PRIDE Coordinator Jimmy Dale Sanders. In the back row are Principal Freddie Bowling of Virgie Middle School, where the students now attend; Joe Moore, the Pike County Schools Community Liaison; Deputy Judge-Executive John Doug Hayes; and PRIDE’s Mark Davis.

Clay Johnson, a sixth-grade student at Virgie Middle School, earned southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

PRIDE honored Johnson for spearheading a cleanup project and organizing a PRIDE Club while he was a fifth-grader at G. F. Johnson Elementary School during the 2010-2011 school year.

Johnson recruited his classmates to adopt the Long Fork Community Park. The students picked up litter in the park and baseball field twice weekly.

Johnson organized the group to form a PRIDE Club, which is a service-oriented environmental club, at G.F. Johnson Elementary last year. The students now plan to start a PRIDE Club at Virgie Middle School.

“I admire Clay and his classmates for their leadership, community spirit and hard work,” said PRIDE’s Mark Davis, who presented the award at Virgie Middle School on Wednesday. “Clay saw a way to serve the community, and his classmates shared his vision. They pulled on gloves, grabbed their trash bags and went to work.”

“I understand that Clay got this idea while learning about civic duty in his Social Studies,” Davis added. “Isn’t it encouraging to think about what excellent leaders these young people will be? They are off to a great start.” 

“I think this will continue throughout their lives,” said Betty Brown, who nominated the students for the award. She is a retired educator and secretary for the Pike County Clean Community Board.

“They are good role models,” Brown said of Johnson and his classmates. “He planned and initiated all of this all on his own.”

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. With corporate sponsorship from TECO Coal, WYMT-TV airs commercials about each PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.

“Volunteers are the backbone of PRIDE,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who founded PRIDE in 1997. “We wouldn’t be where we are without our volunteers. More than 360,000 volunteers have helped with PRIDE cleanup and education projects. We want to thank TECO Coal for helping PRIDE give these generous people the recognition they deserve.”

If you know a person or group making a difference with PRIDE, please click here to nominate them for the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

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