At the young age of 10, Ariel Draper learned the value of helping others. Ariel began studying martial arts and ultimately earned a black belt in Taekwondo and became a junior leader, helping to mentor beginner Taekwondo students. In 2017, the wife of Ariel’s Taekwondo instructor was diagnosed for the third time with cancer. Ariel had already watched several family members and close friends die from this disease. She decided to make a difference.
Ariel organized a fundraising event, Kicking Cancer in the Butt, to help raise money to pay for cancer treatments. After working tirelessly on the event for month, Ariel successfully raised $1523.45 donated to the Pink Warrior Angels organization. Today, Ariel serves as the Pink Warrior Angels youth council co-president. She has organized a car wash and participated in fundraisers to help displaced animals after a tornado touched down in Copperas Cove.
In 2018, the kick-a-thon fundraisers became annual service projects for Ariel who served on the Lone Star Alumni Leadership Council. Ariel participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy every summer since 2015. In 2018 and 2019, she returned to the Dallas/ Fort Worth and Austin/San Antonio camps as a youth facilitator after having completed the Lone Star Leadership Alumni Council program. For this program, Ariel must complete online leadership lessons designed to continue developing her leadership skills during the school year and lead a service project, the kick-a-thons, in her community.
In 2018, Ariel’s kick-a-thon raised more than $700 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. To date, Ariel raised $1,120.01 for various causes through her kick-a-thon fundraisers. Ariel’s next kick-a-thon will go to Camp Dreamcatcher, a camp for kids with cancer offered through McLane Children’s Hospital.
Ariel is enrolled in advanced classes at Copperas Cove High School and ranks in the top 5% of her class. She is a cadet in the CCHS JROTC program where she participated in the Phantom Warrior Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge and marched in the Veterans Day parades. Ariel competes on the JROTC academics and unarmed drill teams.
Ariel is also a member of CCHS HOSA, representing the school at two conferences and also donating blood through the organization. Ariel plans to enter the health care field after graduation.
Ariel was also an officer in Junior Historians participating in National History Day twice and winning the regional contest and advancing to the state competition her second year. Ariel is also a member of the National Honor Society.