Student’s ‘Encourager’ device would be useful, inspired by her own experience

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mileigh Kilburn, an eighth-grader at Duff-Allen Central in Floyd County,was runner up in the North American Region’s Microbit Challenge.

And the student has science teacher Joseph Larrimore  to thank for suggesting she enter.

“Mr. Larrimore inspired me to enter the challenge and I chose the project that I did because of my personal experience and my classmates’ experiences with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, Kilburn said.

Mileigh’s project is called The Encourager. With this device, a person selects the emotion he/she is experiencing from a list (happy, sad, mad, frustrated, worried, anxious, anxiety), pushes a button and gets an encouraging quote displayed.

Mileigh says she knows firsthand that, “a little encouragement can go a long way.”

When asked how she reacted when she found out about being runner up, Mileigh said, “When I found out how I had done in the challenge I was overwhelmed with happiness and thankfulness. It was an amazing experience to be a part of and I had so much fun coming up with my own prototype.”

Mileigh says she loved doing a project she felt connected with but she truly did not realize how good her project was until she got the email with the results. As always, educators like to know what students learned and Mileigh learned some valuable lessons that can be useful throughout her life.

She said, “First, I learned that if you put your heart into anything you do, you will be able to reach your goals. Second, I learned to never miss the opportunities you are given because you never know what good can come from it.”

Mileigh says she would tell others who are considering participating in challenges that “Don’t let anything stop you from doing it. This is such a great program and experience for me. I hope that everyone will get an opportunity like this sometime. People shouldn’t feel limited or that they should not try something like this. You don’t need to have fancy things or have the best grades in your class. As long as you have a pencil, paper, and a creative imagination you can do anything you want to.”

“We are very proud of Mileigh for her accomplishment, her focus on encouraging others and for the wisdom she passes on when talking about this project. Learning to give your best effort and to take advantage of opportunities are lessons that can greatly influence her life,” Superintendent Anna Shepherd said.

Categories: Local News, News

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