A surprise for Mary Parker: she is Central Penn Parent Magazine’s Caped Crusader for April. The St. Joan of Arc student earned the recognition for the work she does in her community.

“I’ve accomplished many things in sports and schools and stuff but this is a big accomplishment because it is helping the community and other people.” Mary said.

Mary’s an active volunteer for a special needs soccer program and her church’s special needs religious education program. She also helps Special Olympic’s athletes.

“Their determination is bigger than I’ve ever seen and their smiles, it’s just happiness all around. I think it’s the best part of Special Olympics.” Mary said.

Mary is involved in charity events her family coordinated through its non profit “Champions For Children,” an effort close to her heart.

“My two brothers and one sister have Fragile X, which is a form of autism, and they show me every day what happiness is.” Mary said.

The 7th grader is filled with compassion and enthusiasm.

“As a mother, very proud that we’re doing the right thing and she’s doing the right thing.” Deborah Parker, Mary’s mother said.

The 13-year-old honor roll student loves giving back.

“I feel like I have a good life and some people might not, and I feel I should help those people have a good life.” Mary said.

Mary hopes to make the United States Hockey Field Team one day. She also aspires to become a special needs teacher.

You can learn more about Mary in this month’s Central Penn Parent Magazine out now. The learn more about Champions For Children, go to www.championsforchildren.us/.