Oakdale Second Grader Named Outstanding Student in Philanthropy

Second grader Ruxin McBride smiles after winning Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award.

Courtesy of Megan McBride

Second grader Ruxin McBride smiles after winning Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award.

Ruxin McBride, a second grader at Oakdale Elementary School, received the Outstanding Young Philanthropists Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

The award is given annually to a young person who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community and recognizes service by young individuals that demonstrate community leadership and commitment through volunteering, developing charitable programs and direct financial support. 

McBride earned the award by helping raise money for the animal enclosures at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo with the help of his younger brother, Saban, who currently attends Kindergarten at the zoo.

Like his younger brother, McBride also attended kindergarten at the Henry Doorly Zoo and continues to work with the organization.

“I do multiple fundraisers [for the zoo] throughout the year,” McBride said. “My favorite out of all of them is the pumpkin decorating fundraiser… we raise money for the zoo to use on whatever animals. Last year we just raised money for the elephants, rhinos and hippos and we raised $650.” 

Oakdale Principal Glen Jagels said McBride’s fundraisers should serve as lessons to other students. 

“These fundraisers are something [Ruxin] and his family do on their own,” Jagels said. “The school is not involved at all, but these are skills that we want to teach our students–not just reading and math–we want our students to succeed outside of school.”

Jagels said he is impressed with McBride’s role model characteristics both inside and outside of school.

“It is rare we see kids setting an example outside of school at the elementary level,” Jagels said. “We try to encourage this as much as possible.”