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Kemmesha Thomas’ life hasn’t been easy, but she’s remained positive and worked hard

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The Logan senior has won a state
award and is headed to regionals

Logan High School’s Kemmesha Thomas hasn’t had an easy childhood.

She noted, during a speech at school Wednesday afternoon, that others have had it rougher.

Regardless, the senior has been named the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year in Wisconsin, after a contest this week in Madison.

“I put a lot of work into it,” Thomas said. “I know (there are) other stories out there that are similar to mine, and they might have tougher times.

“I don’t know why they didn’t get chosen from theirs, but I was just so happy the judge chose me to win.”

Thomas has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship and moves on to the regional contest in Chicago. If she moves on there and goes on to nationals, a $40,000 scholarship is up for grabs.

Going through the competition, Thomas has done a nice job of letting people know her story, but also keeping things light.

“They tapped me on the shoulder during lunch, saying I had to give another (speech), so I couldn’t eat lunch until after I was done,” she said as the crowd laughed. “But then I got ice cream, so it was a good day overall.”

Thomas had to give speeches about perseverance and having a positive attitude. In her own life, the Logan senior has overcome physical limitations and a difficult family background.

“For me, I grew up around drugs and alcohol, so then I knew how people act during that, and I don’t want to be like them,” Thomas said. “So I know not to do drugs or drink and it’s working so far.”

Thomas, who hopes to study physical therapy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, is a member at the Erickson Boys and Girls Club near Logan and works at the Schuh Club in town.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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