TALENT, Ore.– A fourth-grader from Talent is receiving a generous donation from U.S. Cellular. The company chose her as one of six national finalists to be recognized for it’s The Future of Good program.
On Thursday, the company held a surprise car parade with members of U.S. Cellular, community members, and a police escort to announce to Zöe Williams she was receiving a special gift. A $10,000 check presented to support local causes in Williams’ community.
“I was very confused at first until I saw that,” said Williams.
The 10-year-old from Talent is one of six out of thousand nationally to be chosen. The program is in its fifth year and helps young causes by providing funds to further their impact.
Several years ago, Williams began putting together monthly clean-ups of littered plastics in Talent. She later joined the Talent Zero Waste team and worked to convince the city council to ban single-use plastics.
“We’re all about recognizing young humanitarians that are making our communities better due to some cause and Zöe’s cause is conservation,” said Erryn Andersen, director of sales for U.S. Cellular.
Williams’ parents say her passion is for the ocean and marine life, especially sharks. She even wrote a book called “Coral’s Quest” to help other kids learn about the harmful impact of single-use plastic.
“Everything has been from her heart and a deep passion for the ocean so to know that she’s won something for her hard work was really a proud moment for sure,” said Kristina Williams, Zöe’s mother.
Williams says she plans to donate the money to the Talent Zero Waste team to help them continue to reduce plastic waste in their city. Williams also says when she grows up she would like to become a marine biologist, doctor, writer, and illustrator.
Her book can be found at Treehouse Books in Ashland or online at websites like Powell’s Books and Amazon.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.