Missy Jenkins Smith
In 1997, Missy Jenkins was a sophomore at Heath High School. On the morning of December 1, she was one of eight students shot by freshman Michael Carneal at the conclusion of a before-school prayer circle. A single bullet entered her chest, damaging her lung and spine, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. She quickly became the subject of intense media interest because of her positive attitude in the face of her grave injuries and her public forgiveness of Carneal for what he had done to her. Her experiences contributed to her decision to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and become a counselor for youth at Calloway County Day Treatment Center. She continues to make local and national media appearances, has written two books, and travels as a public speaker to spread an anti-violence and anti-bullying message.