SACRAMENTO, CA - Casey Robbins has a unique award on her high school resume.
Liberia has named a school after her.
The 17-year-old Mira Loma High School senior garnered the honor for a project she started in the eighth grade.
"I had noticed there were some text books just lying around in the staff room of my middle school," Robbins explained. "I asked the vice principal if I could have them and he said okay if you can figure out how to get them there."
She was talking about sending outdated school books to Liberia.
Robbins said she became interested in the West African nation, which is recovering from years of civil war, when she heard a former government official on a Sacramento radio station.
That marked the beginning of Textbooks for Liberia.
"I just think it's a great thing to do," Robbins said. "I really don't know how I would not do it."
She just sent her fifth shipment to Liberia. Government and school officials are so grateful they decided to name a school after Robbins.
"The school is taking enrollment now and it should be starting in the fall. It's the Casey Robbins International School," she explained.
In February she traveled to the Liberian capitol of Monrovia where she saw children who received her books and she saw the building that will house the school.
"It's definitely a cool thing for me," Robbins said. "I got to have a picture with the sign for my school."
Robbins plans to attend Stanford and study civil engineering when she graduates. But she vows to keep the book project going and said she may expand it.
In the past, she's been able to send the book shipments overseas for free. Its usually costs $4000 to $6000 each.
But the bad economy has sponsors bowing out, so she is on a mission to raise the shipping costs.
"I'm going to do it because I know that the books are actually having a positive effect," Robbins said.
By Karen Massie firstname.lastname@example.org