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Perry school resource officer helps kids, just like she was helped in school

Perry Police Officer Eddrica Gary is making a difference in the lives of students in Houston County.

PERRY, Ga. — Every Thursday over the next few weeks, we're highlighting Central Georgians who bring positivity to people in their community.

This week, we're celebrating school resource officer Eddrica Gary. She is trying to make a difference and people believe she puts a little YAY in their day.

Growing up, we all had different experiences in school; some of them good and some bad. Well, Perry Police Officer Eddrica Gary decided to use her experiences as an inspiration to help students.

Walking the halls of Perry Middle, Officer Gary remembers when she was a student.

"I had a really hard time struggling with middle school and high school, stayed in a lot of fights and everything," said Gary.

But having someone to talk to made all the difference.

"I had an SRO who was there for me, he was always encouraging me. I had an incident at the high school and he was there," she said.

Gary says the school resource officer -- plus another mentor -- inspired her to want to help students stay on track.

"Making good grades, behaving correctly, just preparing them for high school for and also when they become adults," she said.

Eighth grader Jaiyda Kelly says Gary makes each school day easier with her pep talks.

"When you have an issue with your mom or anybody, you can have somebody to talk to, and it's like you can go to her if you need anything," said Kelly.

Kelly says Gary is always there when she needs to vent or calm down from certain situations. 

"She's loving, caring. If you need anybody to talk to, she is easy to build a relationship with," said Kelly.

Students at Perry Middle and Morningside Elementary love Gary so much, they even dressed as her for Red Ribbon Week and Your Favorite Administrator Day.

Credit: Perry Middle School

"Some of the high schoolers that were here a couple of years ago, they tell me, 'Hey, you helped me out a lot, you talking to me, I'm staying out of trouble, I got a job,'" said Gary.

Her presence is making a difference in the lives of students.

"My word to them would be continue to try, we all make mistakes, especially when being kids. If you ever feel like you need someone to talk to, I am always here, I will give you my phone number, you can call me whenever you need to," said Gary.

She says being an officer today feels like a full circle moment because she is able to help students the same way she was helped.

13WMAZ knows everyone has someone like Officer Gary in their lives and we want to know who puts the YAY in your day!

You can nominate someone in your life that goes above and beyond to spread good vibes and positivity.

Text a photo, their name, and a little about them to 478-752-1309. You just might see it on our social media and on 13WMAZ Morning!

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