Erek Hanson, a 12-year-old student at Eisenhower Middle School in Oregon, is the winner of the 2012-13 Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award given by the Ohio Association for Gifted Children.
The seventh-grader has collected more than 13,000 pairs of denim pants since 2009 for recycling. He has also collected shoes for the same purpose with the goal of setting a Guinness World Record.
He was nominated for the award in the spring by his sixth-grade language arts teacher, Leigh Ann Kesling, who described him as “an outstanding role model to young people who want to make a difference. He has found his passion at such a young age that he inspires me to want to help other students find theirs.”
She nominated him for his superior leadership abilities and initiative. The award is named for a boy from Bodega Bay, Calif., who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Italy in 1994.