Deventae Mooney, a sophomore at Coeburn High School, helps Payton Adkins get ready to feild anything hit his way. Contributed photo.
COEBURN — Being nominated for the 2011 National Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes Community Service Program was an honor in and of itself for 15-year-old Deventae Mooney. He never expected to make the first cut — much less have a chance to win.
Yet, two months and two rounds later, the Coeburn High School sophomore is one of just 25 youths from the United States and Canada still vying to become one of 2011’s Huggable Heroes.
“It’s a little shocking, really,” Mooney said Wednesday, a day after learning that he’d advanced to the finalist round.
“When I found out there were 1,200 applicants, I never expected to make it out of the first round. I thought, ‘There’s no way,’ ” Mooney said.
Coeburn Town Manager Loretta M. Mays and Principal Dante Lee thought differently, though.
“Someone forwarded that to me about this particular scholarship, and it was almost as if it had been written just for Deventae,” Mays said. “He is a very beloved member of our community and just an amazing young man, and I feel blessed to know him.”
Despite not even being old enough to get his driver’s license, Mooney spends countless hours volunteering in his hometown.
Read the expanded version of this report in the Times-News or its enhanced electronic edition.