Home skills, community service earn city teen state award

Published 11:59 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

A Vicksburg teen has been named the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers’ Young Homemaker of the Year.

“I was completely surprised,” said Kristen White, 19. “I wasn’t expecting to win because it was a statewide competition. I was sure that someone else deserved it a lot more.”

The award is for a woman younger than 40 who has made significant contributions in the community and in her home.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Kristen has volunteered throughout Warren County, feeding the homeless and hosting awareness programs for community service at Hinds Community College. Using her black belt in karate, she taught personal safety classes to elderly women and children.

Kristen’s grandmother Ruby Harris said she was a natural choice for the award.

“I’m handicapped, and she takes care of so much around here,” Harris said. “I was really glad she got it because she deserved it.”

And, Harris said, “She’s just tickled about it.”

Harris was president of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers Dogwood Club in Vicksburg until 2008, and exposed Kristen to the organization at a young age.

“She’s been involved for about eight years now,” Harris said. “She really cares about the people of Warren County.”

Kristen said community service is something she has grown to love.

“I’ve learned that life is not always easy,” she said. “So why make it harder for others as well as yourself?”

Marcus Davis, who organizes youth programs at the Warren County Extension Office, an affiliate of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, which oversees the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, said he’s proud of Kristen.

“It’s a big deal because, this day and time, you don’t have too many young people doing these kinds of things,” Davis said. “It is very rare that kids are interested in this stuff, and we are so proud of Kristen for going the extra mile.”

Kristen participates in sewing and canning with the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, whose mission, the MSU Extension Service’s website says is to “strengthen families through education and community involvement.”

Kristen is entering her sophomore year at Hinds Community College in Raymond, where she is a resident assistant majoring in veterinary assistance. She is the daughter of Dane White and the late Cherise Harris Monk.