Thanks to her courage and persistence, Isabella “Izzy” McMillan, an 8-year-old student from Ruth Hill Elementary School in Newnan, Georgia, is making it possible for 11 of her schoolmates to attend Camp Invention Connect™ this December.
“I knew that Izzy had a giving heart and a spirit of wanting to help others,” Mary Thompson, McMillan’s mentor and teacher said in an interview with the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF). “I asked Izzy if she would like to help others attend camp, and she said yes!”
Hosted by Ruth Hill Elementary School from December 28th to the 31st, Camp Invention Connect is an at-home camp that embraces hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and virtual collaboration. Thompson, who is the Camp Director, helped McMillan develop her own pitch to local businesses in the area, asking for monetary donations to help students whose families might not be able to afford the cost of camp.
After Thompson worked with McMillan to develop a pitch, the two began traveling to local Newnan businesses, where McMillan approached business leaders all on her own. “I was a little scared at the first place I went to,” McMillan said in an interview with NIHF. “But after that, I wasn’t nervous anymore.”
A Ray of Light and Hope
One of the businesses McMillan visited was McKoon Funeral Home, where John Daviston, the company’s owner and president, was blown away by her confidence and people skills.
According to Thompson, Daviston told McMillan, “I look for adults with your people skills and it’s what I look for when I hire people.”
Daviston was so impressed that he wrote a check for $525 — enough to cover the cost of three full Camp Invention Connect scholarships. Overall, McMillan was able to raise $1,991 from generous local businesses around the Newnan area.
For Thompson, McMillan’s courage to advocate for a cause that she believes in, paired with generosity from local businesses, represents a ray of light and hope during these challenging times.
“The mom and pop stores from our community were so giving, and even if they didn’t have the money at the time, they wished her well and said that they were inspired by what she was doing, as an 8-year-old, for others,” Thompson said.
In addition to the $1,991 McMillan raised, recently, NIHF awarded her another scholarship to add to her cause, bringing the total amount of money raised to $2,166.
Get to Know Izzy!
As a third-grader at Ruth Hill Elementary School, McMillan’s favorite subject is reading and her favorite part of the school day includes lunch and recess.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she replied that she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps as an educator. “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher because my mom is also a teacher at Ruth Hill Elementary School and I would like to continue what she has already done,” McMillan said.
Additionally, she was recently elected president of her school’s K-Kids Club, a program led by Kiwanis International that teaches children about the importance of helping others through participation in community service projects.
McMillan is grateful to Thompson (also known as Coach T) for her mentorship and support.
“I want to say that if it wasn’t for Coach T always being there for me, I wouldn’t have been able to do this,” McMillan said.
Share Your Camp Invention Stories With Us
Do you have a Camp Invention® story? We would love for you to share your experience with us on our Facebook page.
To reserve your spot in one of our upcoming December Camp Invention Connect sessions, we invite you to visit our website.