Oklahoma institute honoring young people making a difference in their community

Dezi Abney was awarded the Moran Kidizenship Award from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Oklahoma is full of young people making a difference in their communities and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is recognizing them for their hard work.

Meet Desi Abney, one of the winners of the Moran Kidizenship Award, who wants foster kids to know that they are not alone. Abney spent her earliest years in and out of multiple foster homes. That is, until she met Jennifer and David Abney in 2004 while she was living in a child abuse center in San Diego.

"I had never let anyone hear my voice until I met them,” Desi recalls.

While Desi started out as the Abney's foster child, she soon became their daughter. They adopted Desi, finally giving her the loving home she'd never had. Desi is now an 8th grader at Sequoya Middle School in Edmond. She's an honor student, track star, and volunteer for her mom's agency, the Angels Foster Family Network.

"I hope I can be as great as her when I grow up,” Desi said.

Most recently added to her resume was the Moran Kidizenship Award, created by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy to honor Melvin and Jasmine Moran, who have spent their lives helping the children of our state. OICA CEO Joe Dorman spoke to FOX 25 about the award.

"We want to recognize anyone under the age of 18 who is doing something successful to help the rest of the kids of the state," Dorman said.

Desi created a video chronicling her own start in life and her wish to help other kids in foster care to help her nab the award.

"One thing I’ve learned in life is that I can’t let where I started out define who I am,” Desi says in the video.

With the help of her family, she wrote, shot and edited it all before she entered the fifth grade.

"Desi was one of our rock stars. We were really amazed with the work that she’s done,” Dorman said.

Desi along with four other Kidizenship Award winners from across the state each took home a plaque and some cash which, not surprisingly, she plans to use to help others.

"I was thinking about donating it,” Desi said.

Nominations are now open for this years Kidizenship Award. If you'd like to apply or nominate someone under 18, click here.

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