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A Tucson teen has been named a national winner of the 2015 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes.

Meagan Bethel is being recognized as one of 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people from across North America who make a positive difference to people and the planet.

The top 15 winners, which include Bethel, were awarded $5,000 to support their service work or higher education.

Bethel, a Tucson High Magnet School graduate, has long been recognized for her work to protect endangered species and her research on ocelots.

Now a freshman at the University of Arizona, Bethel is working in the Conservation Genetics Lab, analyzing the DNA of several species of big cats such as mountain lions. She hopes to determine the animals’ travel patterns as they cross from Mexico into the U.S. to find out if the border wall is restricting their movement, which could limit genetic diversity and compromise the animals’ health.

Walden Grove student an honor society scholar

A Walden Grove High School student has been selected to become a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.

Jodeci J. Capono was selected based on outstanding leadership, academic achievement and community commitment.

The National Society of High School Scholars works to build on students’ academic success by connecting them with unique learning experiences and resources to help prepare them for college and meaningful careers.

Compiled by reporter Alexis Huicochea. Contact Alexis at ahuicochea@tucson.com or 573-4175. On Twitter: @AlexisHuicochea

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.