Two Greenbrier sophomores received a certificate of appreciation for helping the small town to save hundreds of dollars by digitizing its city ordinances.
Sophomores Jaden Hudspeth and Cliff Worthington worked for about eight months to scan and also create hundreds of PDF files to digitize seven binders' worth of city ordinances.
The project would have cost the city around $200 per book, according to estimates the city received from area print shops, David Cain, the city's code enforcement officer, said.
The two students are enrolled in Greenbrier's EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technologies) program. While they did not initially realize the magnitude of their labor, the two gained skills that will last them a lifetime, EAST facilitator Kim Austin said.
Not every document was able to be scanned in because there had certain tabs that prevented them from going through a scanner, so the two sophomores also learned how to create PDF files manually, Austin said. Along with the technological skills the students gained, Austin also said the two learned communication skills.
"They took away [two] sets of skills. The technological skills they learned are important, but more importantly they learned how to communicate with their city leaders," she said. "These are real world skills they'll be able to use later on ... sometimes those skills get overlooked."
Hudspeth, who was recognized alongside Worthington on May 6 during the Greenbrier City Council's regularly-scheduled meeting, told the Log Cabin Democrat on Monday that she was both honored and surprised when she learned the two would receive an award.
"It was a very big surprise for me," she said. "Really, I just came into school every day and got to work. It turned into a habit."
The Greenbrier sophomore said she was thankful for the opportunity to help city leaders and also that she gained several useful skills.
"The organizational work was really helpful to me," Hudspeth said. "I didn't fully understand the magnitude of this project until they presented me with the award. They said we saved the city $600. This is something that can go into something more important now. It was really humbling."
Mayor Sammy Joe Hartwick said he and other officials were thankful for the students' hard work.
"We appreciate you, we really do," he said while handing Hudspeth and Worthington a certificate of appreciation before city aldermen and residents. "Thank you so much."
Cain said the project before the students was to digitize all city council-approved ordinances that have passed through the years.
Not only was the project a benefit to city leaders, but residents can now access ordinances online as well.
While not all the ordinances have been uploaded to the city's website yet, many such as the nuisance, signage and fireworks ordinances can be viewed online at www.cityofgreenbrierar.com under the planning and zoning commission tab.
Cain said the students very much deserved to be in the spotlight for helping to save the city money but also, "more importantly showing community involvement."
As the project neared an end, Austin said she noticed positive changes in her students -- especially Worthington.
At the beginning of the school year, the sophomore was a shy student. However, he has since learned to open up.
"Cliff learned some social skills," she said. "He's very, super shy and super quiet. This brought him out of his shell. He's such a sweet boy."