MONMOUTH, Illinois — United West Elementary School Teachers' Aide, Kristin Chenault was honored with $300 cash from Ascentra Credit Union for her work of going above and beyond for a student with whom she's been working for three years. Recently, the student needed a new home and Ms. Chenault stepped up, applying for the proper paperwork, in order to become the student's foster parent.
"When I look at Kristin and I think about the things she's done, even though she doesn't have a lot herself, she gives more than she probably has," said Trish Crall, a 4th grade teacher at United West Elementary School who nominated Ms. Chenault for WQAD's Pay it Forward Contest. Ms. Chenault worked in Mrs. Crall's classroom last year; the two became close friends.
"Trish thank you for nominating Kristin [Chenault], somebody who goes above and beyond her duties here at the school, someone who really loves the children," said Alvaro Macias, who works at Ascentra Credit Union. "Everything that she does for [the students] really speaks at the core of what Ascentra believes in: listening, caring and doing what's right. That's why I'd like to present you with $300 so that you may pay it forward."
Mrs. Crall walked back to the teachers' lounge to surprise Ms. Chenault with the money.
"I wrote to WQAD and I nominated you for their Pay it Forward program, because I think you're super awesome," said Mrs. Crall to a shocked Ms. Chenault. "Not only do you do so much for our school, and so much for everybody that you come in contact with, you stepped up for [the student] when you didn't have to, and I just think you're pretty awesome. On behalf of WQAD and Ascentra Credit Union I`d like to present you with $300 bucks!"
"I don't even know what to say!" exclaimed Ms. Chenault, "Did you all know about this?" she asked, laughing and turning towards the other teachers in the lounge at the time.
As for why she stepped up for the student...
"It's just what I do I like to help," said Ms. Chenault. "She needed somebody and she trusted me."
If you know someone who is doing good things in their community, nominate them here. If you are nominated, WQAD will be in contact with you.