Kelly Keenan's good works are hard to explain on a resume, according to guidance counselor James Malone. It wasn't her contribution to a specific club or charity event that made her special, he said, although she was very active in school. Rather, it was her everyday kindness to others and her devotion to those less fortunate, whether a student with autism or a lonely senior citizen.

 

She spent time with special education students in each year of high school, helping them learn better social skills through a national Best Buddies program as president of the program at her school. She plans to continue to be involved in Best Buddies in college.

She also spent time with two homebound senior citizens once a month through her church, St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church in Garden City.

In addition, Keenan played flute in the orchestra and was vice president of the school's National Honor Society. She has a 97 GPA.

Her plans: The honors program at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

In her words: "I would say that I really have a strong connection with special-needs students . . . to watch how much fun they have. I just love that for myself and for them."

The view from the guidance department: "She's a behind-the-scenes kind of kid that doesn't look to get pats on the back," said Malone.

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