“Snatch the pebble from my hand, grasshopper!”

Posted at 11:23 AM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-18 19:09:32-05

Norfolk, Va. - Vernetta Howell, an energetic third grade teacher at Norfolk's Jacox Elementary School is active in her community. Not only that, she is a breast cancer survivor and enjoys Tae Kwon Do.

In fact, she's a third degree black belt.

She's been a student at Tae Kwon Do Champions for 20 years and also volunteers there. The owner, Jack Dark, says she's active throughout the community and shared that in an email.

"She does clothing drives, food drives, school supply drives for her underprivileged kids. She's always doing fundraisers, and works in the community and never asks for anything in return. And on top of it all she is a breast cancer survivor."

This is why we wanted to present Vernetta with a NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action Award.

We have a People Taking Action pin for her, along with one other thing...

"We have a community partner, Southern Bank, and Southern Bank has a $300 VISA gift card for you!"

"Wow, whew!"

"Oh my goodness -- oh my goodness, thank you, Lord, thank you!"

"So where does all this energy come from?"

"My faith drives me because the more I bless others, the more I'm blessed. To whom much is given, much is required," says Vernetta.  "When I was dealing with the breast cancer issue, I would pray and I would say, Lord, not yet, because I have some more things to do, and I have to keep doing it, because I think that's my purpose -- to do for others. I love doing it."

She means it, even during this interview, she was plugging an upcoming clothing drive.

"Gently used or new items, we especially need children's clothing."

"Look at you, you already launched into how you take action for the community! Well, $300 is going to help!"

Now concerning her being a third degree black belt, she stresses avoiding confrontations when you can, but...

"That does not mean come challenging me on the street...'cause I'm just gonna say, peace my sister, peace my brother, and walk away -- just don't put your hands on me!"

And she was actually trying to sign Kurt up for some classes!

"I mean, that looks good, but we can tighten that up some more."