A Rock Island High School student was recognized by her teacher for showing compassion for her classmates and community.

Teacher Jessica Matherly has a classroom closet where her English Language Learner students can shop for clothes.

“A lot of the students are refugees,” she says. “They didn’t want to leave their country they were forced to leave their countries and they came with nothing.”

Ms. Matherly says this closet gives them that typical American teen experience — of looking at clothes, and having fun with friends doing it.

Senior Kayli Buckrop has been a frequent contributor – without any prompting from others.

“Rather than have them stacked up in the garage, why not give them to someone who will use them?” says Kayli.

And it’s the kindness and generosity of students like Kayli that Ms. Matherly says give the millennial generation a good name.

“That’s why I love working with high schoolers because people underestimate them,” says Matherly. “They shouldn’t be underestimated. They should be celebrated because they do many amazing things for one another and others as well.”

Ms. Matherly has a wall full of quotes in her classroom that she hopes her kids will draw inspiration from. 

She calls what Kayli is doing a modern example of JFK’s famous words: “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

“It’s kind of exciting because you got to see you being excited with the clothes,” says Kayli. “So of course you’re going to see someone else excited. And you’re like yeah, I’m glad they felt the same way and we like the same clothes.”

And she hopes her peers can learn a thing or two.

“I just hope they see that if I do it, it’s easy. I don’t normally do anything for anybody, so it’s easy. Why don’t you do it.”

For helping others in need, Kayli Buckrop is one of Local 4’s Finest.

If you know someone in the community going above and beyond – we want to hear about it.

Go to the Local 4’s Finest section of our website and fill out a nomination form on the right of the page.  

You can also send James a message on Facebook. Search: James Sears WHBF or click here.