Rachel Daughtry is a 2001 graduate of Herkimer High School.
You can change what you don’t like about this world, even when you’re young.
What’s your favorite high school memory?
My favorite high school memory would be senior year. The entire year was so much fun.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
When I graduated from HHS, I moved to Seattle. I went to college, and started my career in the victims crime unit of a police department. I learned so much, and knew that I wanted to continue helping people. I got married, and when we had our first son, I knew I wanted to raise him in CNY. We moved back to Central New York (even though I always said I never would!), and I became a substance abuse counselor. For nine years, I worked in the substance abuse and mental health field. I would see so many injustices in the human service field, and knew that I wanted to do more to change what I was seeing.
I made the jump to Compassion Coalition six years ago. In just six years, I have been able to create programs and help hundreds of thousands of people! I get to tangibly see the work we are doing, and the positive impact it’s having in our communities. I get to work with fun companies across the country to get their products into the hands of people who need them most, and I never feel like I am working. This year alone, we’ve given away over $20,000,000 in donated products and food, served over 500 local teachers with free school supplies, and gave away 50,000 USDA food boxes in the midst of the pandemic (that’s just a few small things!).
Read more: Donations boost Shoebox Santa program
Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?
I believe all our of incredible teachers throughout the years truly shape who we become.
What advice do you have for current Herkimer High School students?
You can change what you don’t like about this world, even when you’re young. I watched my nephew at 15 years old start buying and selling sneakers, then donating the money to purchase sneakers for kids who did not have them. He’s now 20 years old, and has a few businesses that are growing to give even more sneakers away because he took small steps at a young age. Don’t listen and focus on negativity — you truly can make a difference.
The Herkimer Central School District Spotlight showcases student, graduate and staff member successes. If you know someone who should be in the Spotlight, please fill out this Spotlight nomination form.