Pimentel started Operation Sweet 16, a campaign to raise at least $16,000 to help U.S. Soldiers and their families by her 16th birthday that fell on March 16 earlier this year. She started the campaign as a 15 year old, one year before her birthday. Since then, her efforts have been highlighted on radio, internet and national television including a segment on Good Morning America. She has also hosted several events in the community to help raise money for the cause.
For one project in particular, Pimentel, along with several of her art classmates, under the leadership of teacher Monica La Pierre-Hayslip spent weeks designing and creating artwork to be placed in the windows of Stonebriar Centre. Their work was installed in November 2011 and was on display through January 4. Click here to learn more about the project.
The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program seeks to recognize and reward young volunteers between the ages of 6 and 18 who help better their communities, making them a better place to live.
P.J. Giamanco, Principal at CHS, nominated Pimentel for the scholarship. Giamanco says Pimentel promoted her charity throughout the school and events by incorporating other student groups. He added Pimentel approached him her freshman year saying she wanted to start this charity because it would also impact students.
“Whenever she first brought this to me, it was impressive,” said Giamanco.
According to Giamanco, several other students raised money to donate but Pimentel’s efforts took more than just asking for people for cash.
“It’s impacted me enough to bring it home to my family,” said Giamanco.
Pimentel won a $50 Kohl’s gift card after being named a Store Winner, and a $1,000 scholarship to be used towards post-secondary education after being named a Regional Winner. National Winners received a $10,000 scholarship.
As of today, Pimentel has raised over $24,000 to donate to U.S. Soldiers and their families.
Pimentel is a member of the CHS Cross-Country team, Best Buddies, Students Standing Strong, Media Tech Club, Texas PTA, Class Council and Invisible Children. She hopes to attend Texas A&M University in 2014 to study Psychology, and plans to pursue a career as a therapist. She also plans to continue with Operation Sweet 16.