RICHMOND, Va. -- A teenager in Chesterfield is honored for the major impact she's had on the Commonwealth, earning the inaugural title of Miss Virginia Volunteer Teen.
With the help of our friends at Virginia Credit Union, CBS 6's Bree Sison surprised Hannah Rhudy, a student at James River High School and founder of BabyIn BabyOut.
Rhudy started her own non-profit in hopes of preventing the death of children in hot cars. Her organization makes tags for people to hang in their vehicles as a reminder to "look before they lock. It's a simple concept that can save lives.
"Because I saw this issue right here where we live in Virginia that was totally preventable," Rhudy said of her inspiration for the non-profit at the age of 12.
Rhudy, now 17, also speaks at public events to raise awareness for the cause. To date, Rhudy and her community partners have distributed more than 60,000 rear-view mirror tags.
"We did an event where we were just trying to warn the public about the dangers of leaving kids in hot cars and she has been passionate about this for years," said Mark Tenia of Richmond Ambulance Authority. "We were so happy and thrilled to be able to partner with her."
Bree gave Rhudy a $200 donation for her organization at a surprise appearance for RAA.
"Oh my gosh, this means the world to me because Baby In, Baby Out is basically my baby. And I've been working on this for a very long time and our biggest expenses are just printing and distributing these tags. So it really makes a huge difference."
Directors of the Miss Virginia Volunteer Teen Organization selected Rhudy to represent the state in a national scholarship pageant next Spring. The program's mission is to promote volunteerism and support young women who are changing and improving lives in their communities.
"She is really a very hard worker and serves people everywhere that she goes so for her to have this extra opportunity to do that is really a blessing for her," said Hannah's mother, Michelle Rhudy, of the honor. "Working with the Miss Virginia Volunteer Organization has been great."
Earlier this year a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech, Breana Turner, won $10,000 and the title Miss Virginia Volunteer.
"Hannah is such a power house teen and I am honored to get to serve as her big sister this year," Turner tells CBS 6. "It's exciting to get to see her passion for others shine on a new level because her heart of gold truly radiates from the inside out."