Top middle level volunteers share their stories of service

By: Prudential Spirit of Community Awards


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is proud to recognize middle level students every year, in every state, for helping their communities through volunteer service. The Association for Middle Level Education is a proud supporter of this important recognition program. As the 2014 application period enters its final week, the program talked to two recent middle level State Honorees about volunteering, what it’s taught them, and how it feels to win a Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Katherine Goodman, an eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School in Ashland, Virginia, helps feed hungry people in her community by organizing canned food drives, encouraging gardeners to plant produce for people in need, setting up collection sites for donated vegetables, and urging hunters to donate the deer they shoot.

Why did you pick this project?
I chose this project because in December of 2010 I did a public speaking contest. My topic was childhood hunger in America. What I learned made me really upset, so I decided to see what I could do to help.

What's the most important thing you’ve learned from volunteering?
I learned that it’s very important to volunteer because there are a lot of people in need, and when you help them it makes their life easier and that just because I'm young does not mean I can’t make a difference.

What was it like to be named a Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree?
It was awesome! It was an honor to be named Virginia’s top middle level honoree. The time I spent in D.C. is a time I will never forget.

Joshua Prochaska, an eighth-grader at Veritas Classical Schools in Hernando, Mississippi, organized and funded the installation of a new tile floor in a large meeting room at his local library.

Why did you pick this project?
I chose this project because one day I went into my local public library and was talking to the head librarian. She told me of the old carpet in the meeting room needing to be replaced.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from volunteering?
The most significant thing that I have learned through my volunteering experience is the satisfaction that comes from helping others. I believe that what I helped make better has made a difference for others.

What was it like to be named a Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree?
It was inspiring to me that with the help of others I was honored with this award. It was humbling.

Applications for 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are open through November 5, 2013. Students in grades 5-12 who have volunteered in the past 12 months can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com.


 
1 Comments
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1 comments on article "Top middle level volunteers share their stories of service"

How great is is that young people want to make a difference in their communities?! We as teachers should try to encourage service learning more in our classrooms every day. Just as Katherine was able to see the impact of child hunger through her speech, we should encourage more of our students to look into these troubling problems in our communities. This will more than likely spark an initiative in them and will hopefully give them what they need to get started in making a difference!

—Arika
4/19/2015 5:23 PM

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