WTOP Top Kid: Fairfax teen is a natural leader

WTOP Top Kid Eden Flora hard at work. (Courtesy Eden Flora)

From local cat rescues to her school news, to dance and lacrosse, this Fairfax County, Virginia, teen is all about finding her passion.

As an eighth grader at Sandburg Middle School, Eden Flora is seriously involved in her community.

For starters, she’s a student representative for the Fairfax County Public Schools advisory committee.

“I meet with a bunch of other students from other schools in Fairfax, and a bunch of vice principals, principals, and a lot of like adults that are in like a higher position for Fairfax, and we meet and we talk about different problems that are going on with virtual learning or in school learning,” Flora told WTOP’s Melissa Howell.

“And it’s had a big impact on this year, because we like we come up with solutions. And then they usually get actually applied, which is really cool.”

Flora said that role is largely about students sharing their experiences, identifying problems and figuring out the solutions. Which means she actually has a say in what students deal with.

“It’s definitely really cool. … There is a little bit of pressure for it, because you don’t want to like just say something, and it’s not actually what everyone else is thinking,” Flora said.

“But I will say that … I actually asked like my friends and other students, and usually all of our different things that are happening with us are the same. So I think that it’s been really cool to do.”

Eden Flora.

Flora also has a hand in her school’s news program: SAM6.

“I definitely am thinking about it for a career option, because I think that journalism is really cool,” she said. “This is my first year doing it. And I’ve learned how to write stories. And we do like a morning news story every morning and do like announcements, and I usually am the editor for it.”

Flora has received a lot of accolades. Her teachers have described her as busy and dedicated. She hopes her commitments inspire others to do more things for the community.

“I know that it might be kind of scary to just start and get yourself into things but I think that it’s really fun to do these different things,” she said.

“The big thing is to just find something to do because especially right now, it’s really a weird year and there’s a lot of different things that I’m sure a lot of other kids my age could have a big impact on. And so I think it’s important for them to know that, this is the time to do it if you’re gonna get into something and make a difference.”

WTOP’s Melissa Howell contributed to this report.

This article is part of WTOP’s TOP Kids program, where kids in the D.C. area are recognized for the amazing things they do. The winners are awarded $500. The program is sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union. Nominate a TOP Kid you know here, and view other winners here.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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