The Los Angeles Daily News reported today that a seventh-grade student at the Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, CA, was just named one of America's top teenage volunteers by The Prudential Spirit Community Award.
Teagan Stedman, aged 13, received the award for the organization of a series of concerts that raised more than $70,000 for pediatric cancer research. Dubbing the concert series 'shredfests', he additionally founded a nonprofit, Shred Kids Cancer. Another concert is planned for this coming April.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the largest of it's kind in the United States. It was created in 1955; a partnership between Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principles. It's purpose is to recognize and honor middle and high school students for their achievements in voluntary community service at the local, state and national level. These students inspire others to participate in volunteering. Of the more than 345,000 young men and women who have participated during the past 17 years, more than 100,000 of them have achieved Prudential Spirit of Community recognition for their good works. Program participation is also in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and India.
The program year starts in September, when information and applications are sent to all middle and high schools, as well as to designated organizations, such as Girl Scouts councils, 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCA's and HandsOn Network affiliates. Any young person who is in grades 5 to 12 as of November 6, is a legal resident of the United States, has been actively involved in volunteering activity during the prior 12 months and submits a completed application by November 6 is eligible.
Finalists in this past year's program include 13 year old Lulu Cerone, an eighth grade student at the Archer School for Girls in Southern California. Through her charity, LemonAID Warriors, she raised more than $40,000 over the past four years to help people in need. Kayla Tinucci, a 16 year old from Canyon High School in Newhall, CA, has also been named as a finalist for her work in collecting in excess of 26,00 pairs of shoes for distribution to needy children. Her organization is The Shoe Crew.
Teagan Stedman, along with California's senior high school winner, Allyson Ahlstrom, will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Allyson, aged 17, founded Threads for Teens, a boutique which has given 250 girls in need a selection of outfits at no charge.
These young people should be inspirations to us all. The link above will take you to the Prudential Spirit of Community Award program website; an informative and inspirational peruse that we highly recommend.