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Eighth-grader Avery Pardue Fights for a Cause

Avery Pardue Fights for a Cause

Avery Pardue is an eighth-grader with a strong passion for Taekwondo and an even stronger passion for helping those less fortunate.

Last year, Avery had the incredible opportunity to travel to Cote d'Ivoire (CIV) to train with Master Attada Tadjou, the national and Olympic Taekwondo coach in CIV. While there, she worked with incredible athletes and made lifelong friends.

What stuck with her the most, however, was the fact that athletes in CIV had to perform on such a high level with almost no gear, no air conditioning, and other obstacles she never encountered in her seven years of Taekwondo training.

“They had one chest protector for the whole team,” Avery said. “They had to do high- level training with almost no equipment, and I thought we might be able to do something to change that.”

Avery left the CIV athletes with all the gear she brought with her, and decided to take further action to help. When she returned home, she and her mother, Lauren Pardue, started a drive to collect new and used Taekwondo gear to send back to CIV.

So far, they have collected 34 chest protectors, more than 100 leg guards, and a variety of other items that are ready to be shipped overseas.

“I’m glad to know that even from so far away, it’s still possible to help,” Avery said. “I’m happy to be able to make a difference.”