10 Amazing Students Named Top Youth Volunteers of 2018
The honorees were selected from a field of 29,000 middle level and high school youth volunteers nationwide, based on their initiative, effort, impact, and more. Each received $5,000 personal awards, engraved gold medallions, crystal trophies for their schools, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for charities of their choice.
The 10 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards National Honorees of 2018
“These honorees exemplify something we’ve known for a long time—that young volunteers have the power to bring meaningful change to their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “These students have shown leadership and determination well beyond their years, and it’s a privilege to celebrate their service.”
The honorees listed below were announced on April 30 at the 23rd annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards:
Tabitha Bell, 18, of Sandy, Utah
Tabitha, a senior at Waterford School, has raised more than $115,000 through her nonprofit, “Pawsitive Pawsibilities,” to provide nine service dogs to people who otherwise could not afford one.
Rosie Colucci, 13, of Palatine, Ill.
Rosie, an eighth-grader at Plum Grove Junior High School, has collected more than 60,000 toys, books, stuffed animals, games and other donations for hospitalized kids, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund research for a cure for childhood cancer.
Grayson Phillips, 18, of Gardendale, Ala.
Grayson, a senior at Essential Church School, organized a fishing tournament and a fundraising dinner/auction, and collected donations at outdoor expos, to provide seven children and young adults with disabilities with all-terrain power wheelchairs that allow them to safely navigate the great outdoors with their peers.
Michelle Qin, 17, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Michelle, a junior at Dos Pueblos High School, is the founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 100 students in California, New Jersey, and British Columbia who work to empower girls and women around the world, focused on education, poverty and health.
Paloma Rambana, 12, of Tallahassee, Fla.
Paloma, a seventh-grader at Maclay School, lobbied legislators, led rallies, gave speeches, created a website and generated media publicity to help secure $1.25 million in state funding for visually impaired children between the ages of 6 and 13.
Hailey Richman, 10, of Long Island City, N.Y.
Hailey, a fifth-grader at Public School 78, has placed more than 10,000 jigsaw puzzles in nursing homes and other senior living facilities over the past three years, and created an online support group for kids around the world who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Madison Strempek, 13, of Crofton, Md.
Madison, a seventh-grader at Crofton Middle School, wrote and self-published a 46-page book, Everyone Makes Mistakes, to reassure and comfort children, like her, who have an incarcerated parent.
Brandon Warren, 18, of Indianapolis, Ind.
Brandon, a senior at Warren Central High School, organized a citywide peace march and community day in Indianapolis to stand against youth violence, following the murder of a friend and fellow football player.
William Winslow, 12, of Raleigh, N.C.
William, a sixth-grader at Daniels Magnet Middle School, fights childhood hunger in his community by holding food drives to fill backpacks with weekend food for children who otherwise might go hungry, and by helping to build school gardens in neighborhoods where access to fresh food is limited.
Helena Zimmerman, 16, of Purchase, N.Y.
Helena, a junior at Rye Country Day School, co-founded a nonprofit organization three years ago that is currently giving more than 3,000 teens in 40 states the opportunity to experience meaningful volunteer work by teaching and tutoring kids in underserved communities.