JOPLIN, Mo. — We have a new Golden Lion Award winner tonight. A student from Central Missouri with strong ties to Joplin.

“After COVID our program was really struggling. One main thing that we focused on this year was boosting school morale,” said Molly Phillips, Mack’s Creek HS Senior.

Helping out with those pep assemblies is just the start for Molly Phillips.

“We were able to host a virtual Veterans Day Program, which was so much fun,” she said.

Molly is the student council president and president of the National Honor Society.

“Every year we decorate a tree for the Lake of the Ozarks idiots club for the gala of trees. every year raises from 300 to $500,” said Molly.

Her on-campus fundraising efforts helped to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

“We had like the paint IT PINK nights at basketball games. The entire week at school, we all wore pink just to raise money for that organization.”

Molly is a multi-sport athlete including track, basketball, and cross country and enjoys outreach through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“My life motto is there so much more. And I feel like you can apply that to every aspect of your life. No matter what you do with building relationships with people, you can understand that there might be more than what they’re telling you. That has really helped me to just be a positive impact on my community,” Molly said.

Graduation isn’t far off, leading to Molly’s new life as a Lion.

“I’m so excited to be attending Missouri Southern in the fall. I’m going to come here to get my teaching degree. I come from a long line of Lions. My older sisters graduating this year – my parents met at Missouri Southern so to just come here and be a part of their legacy is really cool too,” she said.