Outstanding Mansfield Kid Receives President's Award, to Be Featured in Role Models Calendar
Jun 08, 2015 04:40PM
● By Kevin
Rylea Fields, 11, recently received the President Obama Point of Light Gold Volunteer Service Award after a busy year at Mary Orr Intermediate School. Rylea, just completing fifth grade, received the award earlier this year from principal Duane Thurston.
"We didn’t even know that she had won it!" said her mother, Lisa, who is a guidance counselor at Legacy High School.
The prestigious President's award isn't Rylea's only accomplishment. This young star has done many things to serve her community. Early last month, she was nominated for the Masonic Lodge Community Builders Award.
"She was extremely excited, as her maternal grandfather (now deceased) was a Mason in Oklahoma," Lisa said. "How exciting to hear that the Mansfield Mason’s thought of her!"
She went to Nashville on Mother's Day weekend to work on community service projects with friends from America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization. Rylea made more than 100 hair bows and more than 80 glitter star wands to donate to the Boys and Girls Club. She and her friends also made tutus to donate.
On top of all of that, Rylea traveled this past fall to NYC Harlem’s Boys and Girls Club, giving away “Rylea’s Ribbons” to all of the girls.
"[She] had a wonderful time doing arts and crafts, tumbling, and dancing with the girls there," Lisa said.
Rylea began Rylea’s Ribbons a few years ago. She makes hairbows and donates to raise money for worthy causes. She has made “Rylea’s Ribbons” the past couple of years and donated to Mansfield’s Chili’s Restaurant and they sell them during their St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital drive.
"They sell out every year!" Lisa said. "She can’t thank people enough for purchasing them each year."
She has made “Rylea’s Ribbons” and given to Captain Hope’s Kids for them to give girls in homeless shelters. This year, she made some and sent to Alaska to raise money for a young girl by the name of Anjelica who lost her legs in a car accident on Christmas Day. Rylea believes in using your talent to serve and help others.
Christmas is a special time for giving back for Rylea. She has consistently raised money and made goody bags for residents at Walnut Creek Assisted Living Center.
"This is one of her favorite community service projects by far," Lisa said. "She enjoys visiting the residents each year and hearing their stories. She loves visiting one resident there who used to be a Texas Ranger Officer! Oh, the stories he can share. All of the residents are precious and most even have Rylea’s picture somewhere in their rooms."
The residents will put aside cozy socks, chapsticks and the entire goody bag that she brings them and prefer to give hugs and visit with her each year, Lisa said.
"She cherishes that time," Lisa continued. "She encourages everyone to 'adopt a resident,' as she also enjoys not only giving goody bags to all the residents but also adopting a few and buying items from their individual Christmas wish lists and donating the items to them anonymously.
Rylea also rang the bell for Salvation Army this past Christmas. She even got her softball team ringing the Salvation Army bell this year, serving right by her side. She stood in the cold a few times this year ringing that bell with her parents, the team and even Mayor David Cook.
Rylea is also a part of her church’s Drip Bucket Brigade, where she helps make drip bucket irrigation systems to send to third world countries. She again this year helped out at the Texas Angel’s Pageant in Hewitt. The event is a pageant for those with special needs.
"This is something near and dear to her heart," Lisa said. "Rylea cannot wait until she is old enough to be an assigned buddy for one of the contestants but until then, she enjoys working the registration table, giving out the contestant bags, speaking with and encouraging each of the contestants and handing out awards, crowing contestants and giving them their sashes and trophy."
Rylea was recently chosen and featured for the month of June in a National Role Model 2015-2016 Calendar. The calendar highlighted 12 teens/preteens from various states who are making a difference. The calendar is sponsored by Teen Success Today, LLC.
"Rylea felt quite honored to be nominated and selected," Lisa said.
She was also recently in the national magazine, BYOU Magazine. She was in the Winter 2015 Positive Thinking edition. BYOU is published by Heartlight Girls Publications, LLC and is for girls ages 7-15 and helps build self-esteem in fun and empowering ways with features on positive celebrity role models, stories about real girls making a difference, tips, advice, games, crafts, contests, jokes, and much more.
"Rylea was happy they enjoyed her thoughts on positive thinking and was thrilled to be featured in their magazine," Lisa said. "She was excited because Kelli Berglund graced that issue’s cover. Rylea watches Kelli on Disney Channel."
In addition to her community service, Rylea is an honor student, gymnast at Aerials Gymnastics, softball player and member of Rush Creek Christian Church.
Rylea is also currently the reigning 2015 America’s National Preteen Sweetheart for the America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization. She will give her title up this summer in Nashville.
"Rylea has never done community service for recognition," Lisa concluded. "She started wanting to help others when she was in pre-school. It is just part of who she is and we learned that early on. Her father and I just know to save money because we will always being helping with goody bags, angel trees, salvation army, toys for tots and whatever else she comes home needing to support. We stand behind her 100 percent!"