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Craft Academy student recognized for volunteerism

Izzy McCloudKentucky Governor Andy Beshear recently recognized a senior at the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics for her tireless volunteer work.  

Izzy McCloud from Greenup County said she gets involved whenever and wherever she can, taking any volunteer opportunities that come her way. She's been involved in volunteer organizations throughout her high school career and has raised money for UNICEF, volunteered at homeless shelters and participated in toy drives. McCloud also helped her community by making and distributing face masks in her hometown.  

"When I made the masks, my mom posted it to Facebook and we were flooded with requests. This was back in April when masks were nowhere to be found in stores," McCloud said. "I gave out masks for free to anyone who asked. I delivered them to homes and health care workers. I even shipped them to about seven other states." 

An unknown resident of McCloud's hometown wrote a letter to Gov. Beshear commending her for her work and her generosity in giving away masks. Beshear praised McCloud during remarks at the Ashland Alliance annual dinner, which recognizes those making an impact in Eastern Kentucky.  

When McCloud learned she was going to be recognized by the governor, she said she was thrilled.  

"I was so excited to tell the Craft staff and my family because I want to make them proud. I felt honored to be bragged on by the governor and it helped my self-esteem knowing I did something impactful enough that it was worth recognizing," she said. "I found out he was going to recognize me when a man from my hometown called and asked if he could send a letter about the masks I had sewn to the governor because he felt it was a good representation of Eastern Kentucky and the people trying to help out during the pandemic." 

McCloud said she first started volunteering because she was motivated by her family and friends to do something positive. 

"I have many people in my life who always encouraged me to do good and help those in need," she said. "I want to show people my good character and the volunteer work I do fills me with pride." 

When it comes to why she continues to devote so much time to volunteer work, McCloud said it's not just about how it makes her feel; it's about helping others.  

"I think the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is the thanks you get from those you've helped. People are kind and often will reach out to you to thank you for what you have done. Knowing that people see me as a compassionate or generous person is worth more than any prize or payment," she said. "I know that putting yourself out there can be uncomfortable but the more you do it, the more comfortable it will become. Be the good that the world so desperately needs. It will open doors for you, and it will open your eyes."  

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is a dual-credit residential high school for academically exceptional Kentucky students. The Craft Academy's purpose is to meet the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. The academic rigor of the Craft Academy challenges students to excel at their highest level through project-based STEM+X courses and hands-on learning experiences, with emphasis on innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

To learn more about the Craft Academy at MSU, visit, email or call 606-783-2093.