Academie Lafayette student rises to the top in selling raffle tickets for school

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One of the metro area’s really successful school fund raising projects is underway right now. The Academie Lafayette raffle offers people an opportunity to win a grand prize of $10,000.

And the FOX 4 Young Achiever of the Week sells more tickets by far for the raffle than anyone else – raising $14,000 that support students and teachers at the school.

She’s been a common site every fall outside Cosentino’s Market in Brookside and other businesses in that area for years now. Fearless and tenacious, Isabella Dougherty goes up to everyone -- people she knows and total strangers.

“And I try to be as peppy and as bubbly as possible,” said Isabella, the FOX 4 Young Achiever of the Week. And she asks everyone the same question.

“How would you like to win $10,000 and support our school?” she can frequently be heard asking. Isabella is a super salesperson for Academie Lafayette, a French immersion charter school with two campuses in Kansas City, Mo.

“I go out almost every weekend and every day and sell raffle tickets,” said Isabella. She’s an eighth grader now and has been selling tickets for Academie Lafayette’s annual fall raffle since she was a first grader.

“I think I’ve been pretty successful,” said Isabella. “When we go out selling, most people end up buying some.”

In fact, no one else at the school has been as successful at this as Isabella has.

“I’ve been top in the school since second grade,” said Isabella. She has averaged almost five hundred tickets sold each year and has generated about $14,000 for the school. And she’s sold the winning ticket three of the past four years.

When Academie Lafayette kicked off this fall’s raffle at school assemblies, Isabella was the motivational speaker to get her peers fired up. And now she has younger students tag along during her ticket selling to share her secrets of success.

“Isabella is very hard-working, very persistent, never gives up,” said Jessica McDowell who was Isabella’s English teacher the past two years. McDowell said Isabella has that same drive in the classroom and in sports and school activities.

“She identifies a goal and she goes for it,” said McDowell. “I think she’s a kid who knows what she wants and she goes straight for that goal.”

The people who know Isabella well said she is just so kind and nice and caring. She has a strong heart for helping. But beneath all of that lies a fierce determination and a powerful competitive spirit.

“I don’t like to lose,” said Isabella with a smile. The $500 prize for the top student raffle ticket seller is a powerful incentive for Isabella, as well.

“Well, I mean, I love to win the cash prize,” said Isabella. But at the core of it is her love for her school and the people in it.

“Isabella cares about Academie Lafayette,” said McDowell.

“It helps my school and I come here every day,” said Isabella.

Isabella and other students have helped raise more than $300,000 in unrestricted funds for Academie Lafayette by selling tickets for the annual raffle over the past eight years. The money supports school nurses, free transportation for students, visas for international teachers, music, art, library programs, sports and technology. Tickets can be purchased directly from students or online at the Academie Lafayette website.

FOX 4 News is Working 4 You to spotlight outstanding young people and their positive accomplishments. In our weekly report called Reaching 4 Excellence we meet young achievers in subjects like academics, the arts, leadership, community service, volunteerism, career exploration, overcoming obstacles and heroism. Watch for Reaching 4 Excellence every Wednesday on FOX 4 News at 9 p.m. and every Thursday on FOX 4 News at 8 a.m. and noon.

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