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Roosevelt student leads effort to repair wrestling room

A Roosevelt student is showing that you're never too young to make a difference in your community.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For his Eagle Scout project, Roosevelt High School student Sam Norris wanted to fix up the school's wrestling room that had been damaged by flooding.

Thanks to some help from the community, he was able to achieve his goal.

Over the weekend, Norris and a group of volunteers spent hours in the Roosevelt wrestling room, working to give it some much needed upgrades.

"I wrestle, so when I heard about the wrestling room being flooded, I just wanted to do something about it because I want to be in here for offseason," Norris said. "There's other youth clubs that need to use it, the women's team. There's a lot of people that need to be in here and they can't right now because it was flooded, so I just wanted to take action and do something about it."

The project required some serious sweat equity, which Norris wasn't afraid to put in. 

But it also required money. So, he turned to the community to raise money for the project, and within just a day of creating a GoFundMe page, he surpassed his original fundraising goal of $1,500.

He able to purchase the materials necessary and is putting the extra money towards replacing their 20-year-old mats.

"Like a night after we put it up, it said that we were passed the goal and my mom was like, 'That's not right', and I was like, 'Yeah, it is,'" Norris said. "It was amazing. We weren't expecting that at all. For the community to step up like that, it means a lot."

It's not every day you see that kind of generosity. But people felt compelled to help a student like Norris who leads by example and with empathy.

For the summer, Norris is organizing jobs for his football teammates that fit around their summer practice schedule so they don't have to choose between work and football. 

"In the past, a lot of them have had to miss summer practices for jobs and stuff like that, so we want to create more flexible work scheduling," Norris said. "So, we're running the baseball and softball concession stands and we're going get them some mowing, stuff like that. So call me if you need some mowing or anything like that."

Norris may be a bit shy, but his willingness to help others speaks volumes about his character.

"With leadership, it takes a certain kind of person to be able to communicate well," said Roosevelt wrestling coach Mike Groth. "Not only tell others what needs to be done, but demonstrate through their actions. Sam is doing a fine job of that."

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