Liberty grad honored for muscular dystrophy camp

August 24, 2010

By Paige Collins

Hayley Grandine and her boyfriend, Morgan, are all smiles on the first day of Camp Promise-West 2009. Contributed

Liberty High School graduate Hayley Grandine was recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the BECU Foundation for her community service as a muscular dystrophy camp counselor.

The camp is more than a community service project to Grandine, however. Some of her closest friends and her boyfriend have muscular dystrophy.

“It makes a lot of things a lot harder, but you’re all kids and just want to hang out and have fun,” she said.

Grandine became involved in Camp Promise-West at age 16, when a friend from school invited her to be a counselor. She has gone back every summer since, and is continuing this summer before leaving for college.As a counselor, she helped those with muscular dystrophy when they needed it, but otherwise Grandine described her time as “just hanging out”.

“When I went into it, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said. “But then I realized, this is totally not even a big deal at all. You’re all the same really.”

From her experience as a camp counselor, Grandine learned the importance of not letting hardships affect your whole life. Instead, she saw her peers with muscular dystrophy making the best out of their situation.

“The way it is, is the way it is,” she said.

Grandine’s time at camp also raised her own self-confidence, because she discovered she was capable of helping others and having an impact on their lives. She said she realized the value of her time and effort, and the fact that she can really make a difference.

The BECU scholarship was awarded to 40 students chosen from more than 600 applicants, according to spokeswoman Anna Petrocco.

“Applicants were required to submit hours of community service, grade point average, transcripts and letters of recommendation, as well as essays describing their most meaningful service experiences,” she said.

A strong student involved in Advanced Placement classes, Grandine said she spent most of her time in high school involved in the drama program, participating in every play she could.

This fall, Grandine will attend her first year at Whitman College. She is not sure exactly what she wants to study, but is leaning toward biology. She was also a recipient of the National Merit Scholarship.

How to help

Donate to Camp Promise-West.

Paige Collins: 392-6434 or Comment at

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