Hearne's Chelsi Woods, Hutto's Joey Zimmerman honored as Chicken Express Community Heroes

Chicken Express and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football are partnering to honor the heroes in your community. Male and female student-athletes that lead by example on the field of play and in the classroom can be honored as Chicken Express Community Heroes and receive scholarship money to continue their education beyond high school.

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Chelsi Woods, Hearne

Spare time isn’t something that Hearne senior Chelsi Woods is familiar with. Between playing sports, serving as her class president, showing animals, multiple community service organizations and countless hours of studying Woods says that she just finds a way to make it all work.

“I have to make arrangements every day just to fit everything in. Some days I will do this and that,” Woods said. “I just kind of make it all work. I fit it all in one day and then move to the next day and do it all again.”

Woods doesn’t merely “make it work” she excels in what she does and displays an excellent balance of focusing on her studies and in her sport. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her class and participates in every sport that Hearne offers.

“Chelsi Woods is an all-around student and athlete. She gives you 110 percent in everything that she does,” Hearne head volleyball coach Faye Carter said. “She brings the energy to the table in whatever she does. She is a true leader and role model student and athlete.”

Woods says that she tries every day to be the hardest worker that she can be in order to encourage those around her to do the same.

“If you work hard, the people around you see how much effort you put in and see that you’re a good leader and that you want the best. It shows that you are trying and that you’re doing the best you can to achieve success.”

Carter echoed how hard of a worker Woods is but also added the positive manner that she carries throughout her daily life that is contagious to others around her.

“She always has a positive attitude no matter what the situation may be,” Carter said. “Students and athletes like her inspire me to continue on in my profession as a coach and teacher.”

Her leadership is put on full display in her involvement with Zero Tolerance, a program that she was selected to be involved in, in junior high after her teachers recognized her as a leader among her peers.

The organization takes a stand against the use of drugs and alcohol. The mission hits home to Woods who got involved because she saw some of her friends using those substances.

“I see a lot of my friends that have gotten into drugs and drinking alcohol and I want them to stop doing that and I want to try to get them out of that,” Woods said. “We try to get our community to come together and talk about it.”

After high school, Woods plans on attending Texas A&M and pursuing a major in physical therapy.

“My brother is going to A&M and he’s studying for the same thing that I am — a physical therapist,” Woods said. “I’m trying to follow in his footsteps and go to A&M because they have a good program for that.”

Joey Zimmerman, Hutto

Hutto’s Joey Zimmerman is one of the top female pole vaulters in the state, however, her impact extends far beyond her performance on the runway — but also in the classroom and in her community — she’s a leader in every sense of the word.

Zimmerman has found immense success in track, and former Hutto head track coach Ashley Cloud attributes her success to her incredible work ethic — not just in the sport — but in every facet of life.

“You know that if you ever ask Joey to do something, she’s going to do it to the very best of her ability,” Cloud said. “She always gives it her all no matter what the task.”

The track star doesn’t just show up and give it her all at every Hutto practice, she also attends practices at other schools and drives over an hour to get specialized training in New Braunfels.

“She’s so committed to getting better at her craft. You can’t be too committed at this age but she’s close,” Cloud said. “Whatever we need her to do she does it with a great attitude.”

Cloud also taught English Language and Composition and has been able to see Zimmerman flourish in the classroom and in her social life, and describes her as a joy to be around.

“The biggest thing about Joey is that she’s comfortable in her own skin and being herself,” Cloud said. “She’s super outgoing and she is who she is and she isn’t changing that for anything.”

Zimmerman's impact extends well beyond the halls of Hutto High School, she stands out as a leader in her community through her volunteer service at Altus Hospice Care and through Health Occupations Students of America. Zimmerman said that volunteering within these organizations brings her happiness.

“I just really like to make people happy,” Zimmerman said. “Anytime I leave a volunteer experience it's always so fun. They are so happy that we came and so sad to see us go.”

In addition to those two organizations, Zimmerman’s academic success has earned her an induction into National Honor Society where she will further her volunteer efforts.

Her love for helping others is one of the reasons why she plans on pursuing a major in biochemistry in hopes of one day becoming a pediatric surgeon. The standout student-athlete isn’t sure where she will attend college but has already received interest from several collegiate track programs.

“She’s the type of kid that I want to talk to her parents and say ‘how did you do it?’ She’s someone that I want my four kids to be like,” Cloud said. “I know that she will find success in whatever she does.”

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