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High 5: Inspiring Change Through Trash

MAPLETON, Utah — When the bell rings at Mapleton Junior High, it’s the typical rush to get from one class to the next. But it’s also when 15-year-old Wyatt Smith jumps into action.

“A lot of times it would interrupt conversations, I’d be talking to them and I would like…hold on, bend down, pick up a piece of garbage.”

It began with a gum wrapper here, a candy wrapper there.


“When we would go to do laundry at the house I always have to check Wyatt’s pockets because they’re full of pencil erasers or paper clips or bubble gum wrappers,” Wyatt’s mom Tammy Smith says.

Eventually Wyatt decided to do something with all that trash: he built a sculpture with the help of his visual arts teacher, Ms. Ollerton.

“I was like, I’ll clean out a drawer for you and you can keep the trash here,” she says.

Wyatt decided to make a mustang sculpture.

“That’s our school mascot, and it would have a little more meaning for people.”

Wyatt’s vision came to life. His dad built the base, and then he did the rest.

“It took a lot of burns, a lot of time and work.”

Each colorful wrapper is a reminder to him.

“If you see something that needs to be done, if no one else is doing it, you be the one to do it.”

We go to his school to give him a KSL High 5!

“That’s pretty amazing, what one student could do that by just simply picking up the little pieces of paper,” says KSL’s Shara Park.

Wyatt’s sculpture inspired not only us, but our friends at America First Credit Union too.

“We commend you in your efforts; we have a $200 gift card from America First to keep going with your cause and help with all the change your doing for your school.”

His classmates agree.

“He’s a really good example to me,” Eli Bickering says.

“I think it’s really cool that he wanted to make a change in our school,” says Camdyn Marker.

A high 5 to Wyatt for making a difference and inspiring others to do the same.

“It’s also a reminder to myself to always make a change,” he says.

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