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National Honor for Galesburg Student's Anti-Bullying Efforts

T.J. Carson
Katie Dunbar is the creator of the Lombard Middle School "Take A Stand Club" that combats bullying.

A Galesburg student's crusade against bullying in her school has led to national recognition for her efforts. Katie Dunbar is the creator of the “Take A Stand Club” at Lombard Middle School.

On Thursday, she received Random Acts’ “Caught in the Act” award for 2016. Random Acts is a non-profit group that seeks to promote encouragement and support through kind acts. Dunbar learned of her award during a morning ceremony where a video announced her as the winner.

Dunbar won the award through an online vote on Random Acts’ website. Dunbar beat out a police officer in California who helps homeless people find places to live, and a Los Angeles teacher who created healthy living and eating initiatives.

Dunbar believes the award will give her cause a big boost.

“I think it’s going to spread it bigger than just Lombard and Galesburg. It’s going to make its way out there,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar will be a freshman at Galesburg High School in the fall, where she plans on continuing her anti-bullying efforts.

Dunbar’s principal at Lombard, Nick Sutton, said he would like to see the program continue after she graduates, and he said other school districts have inquired about starting similar clubs.

Sutton said Lombard's students should be proud of the club and the national honor.

“By providing them this opportunity, what it’s done is just let them take a little bit more ownership of the school itself. And when you have that, kids buy in. And they want to be part of something. And even make that something that they’re a part of something pretty special,” Sutton said.

For winning the “Caught in the Act” award, Dunbar received a certificate and a $2,000 prize.