JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - In the eyes of Zamarion Barnett, 10, the world can be just as engaging as the imaginary places he likes to read about.
All it takes is some personal dedication to want to make the world a better place.
"If I help somebody, it makes me feel better," Zamarion Barnett said.
That attitude has landed Zamarion a pretty cool honor.
As a fifth grader at North Jones Elementary in Jones County, he has been selected for a national youth activist award presented by Omni Hotels and Resorts.
It focuses on community involvement, school achievement and honors. He is one of only 100 selected across the country and the only one from Mississippi.
"If I mow somebody's lawn, they'll pay me, but I don't like to get paid. Money doesn't fix problems." Zamarion Barnett said.
From picking up trash to helping with service projects put on by his school's Beta Club, Zamarion Barnett is not afraid of a little sacrifice.
"Anything as far as school, he does it. Church, he does it," said his mother, Markita Barnett.
Zamarion Barnett said that drive to help comes from his mom.
"He always says 'Mamma, you inspire me,' but I know, hey, it's a bigger power invested in this right here," Markita Barnett said.
Markita nominated her son for the award, unsure of whether he would even stand a chance.
"At first I was like 'OK, no word. I know he didn't get it.' About two weeks later I opened my email and I'm like 'Wow, really?'" Markita Barnett said.
To celebrate, his family and friends held a red carpet event over the weekend to mimic the one that will happen when he receives the honor next month. For Zamarion Barnett, the recognition comes with responsibility.
"I'm going to be helping even more people and try and join other groups in my community," Zamarion Barnett said.
As an aspiring scientist, Zamarion said it is just another chapter in the story he calls life.
Zamarion Barnett will be honored next month at a ceremony in Nashville.