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Chapmanville Regional High School student on a mission to improve community

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A high school sophomore in our region is on a mission to make his community a better place to live.

Most high school students are worried about who they are taking to prom this time of year, but Matthew Dingess is focusing on saving lives.

Dingess is a student at Chapmanville Regional High School.  He is organizing speaking sessions at his school. He said those speakers will tackle subjects and challagens that students typically face.  

On Wednesday, Dingess teamed up with West Virginia State Police to bring in speakers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

Those speakers discussed the dangers of drinking behind the wheel.  These moms say they speak out for a reason.

"Driving is one of the biggest responsibilities they will ever face, said Stephanie Kinnard.  Kinnard lost a close family friend when his car was hit by a drunk driver who had multiple DUI offenses on his record. 

Dingess said this kind of community service is what he was made to do.  "I guess it's just one of my callings in life," he said.  "I just like to help the people in my community, to make it a better place.

Margie Sadler is another MADD representative.  She said she supports Dingess in his endeavors.  "I think that's just a wonderful idea, that a tenth grader would decide on his own that a tenth grader would decide that this is what he wants to do for his school," she said. 

The next scheduled speakers will be discussing a program called Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC.

ICAC is an initiative by State Police to find and prosecute predators on the Internet. 

Dingess said he is hoping that high school students across the state begin programs like these.  He said all a student needs is the motivation to want to make a difference.