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Darnell Cookman Student of the Week - Rory Peterson

4:03 PM, May 21, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A seventh grader at Darnell Cookman Middle High School is described by his teachers as dynamite, special, determined and high achieving. He's our Student of the Week.

Rory Petersen works extra hard in school; he recently won first place in both the State History Fair and Junior Individual Documentary for Innovation During the American Civil War in Transporting the Wounded.

"I started researching and found out there were no ambulances during the Civil War. I couldn't believe that because soldiers were left to die on the battlefield," said Rory.

He does extremely well academically but he's also concerned for others. Last year, he stared a campaign to collect can tops for the Ronald McDonald House. 

His Principal Mark Ertel was amazed. 

"When he came up in the spring with the jug, it was matter of fact and deliberate and he knew he had a project worth doing," Ertel said.

There's a reason Rory tries so hard in everything he does.

"When I was born, I had a twin sister named Cory but she died when we were born. We were both very sick and she died hours hours after birth."

Rory said he was in and out of hospitals until the age of 3. Now he's living each day with a purpose. 

He hopes to some day become a doctor so he can help save sick children, like his sister.

First Coast News

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