School: ASU Prep Digital
It could have been the end of a sad story, but Ashley Nevison decided to let her saddest day, the death of her beloved cat Sargeant, become the start of something truly remarkable.
“It was unexpected when he died,” said Nevison, 15, a freshman at ASU Prep Digital. “He was and will always be my favorite cat. I loved him with every single part of my heart. To keep his memory alive, I decided to do amazing things to honor him.”
Nevison founded Sargeant’s Army in 2018. The plan then was for Nevison to make cat toys and blankets and donate them. But then 2020 happened, and she realized that her skills and energy could do much more.
First, Nevison used her sewing skills to create masks for healthcare workers. Then, she started making masks for an event for the homeless – and got an idea. What if, beyond the mask, Nevison did a bit more?
“I wanted to use my sewing skills to help not just animals but humans, also,” Nevison said. “I realized how hard it would be to be homeless in this horrible eat. And that’s when I decided to get hygiene items and create Hope Bags. And I was able to apply for grants. And it took off from there.”
Before the end of 2020, Sargeant’s Army was a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit. To date, Sargeant’s Army has raised more than $50,000 and Nevison has assembled and donated more than 22,000 Hope Bags.
“We’ve donated bags in 12 of the 15 counties in Arizona,” she said. “My goal is to get to all 15.”
Nevison decided to give back more by helping the youth in her community. She became an author and wrote books like The Monsters Give Back which encourages the youth to give back to their community. Along with her writing and sewing skills, her compassion didn’t stop there.
Nevison is on a mission to make a difference and will continue working on her many projects to ensure the well-being of her community.Back to Recipients