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Michigan's Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 11th Annual National Awards Program; Bangor and Belding Students Earn $1,000 Awards, Engraved Medallions and Trip to Nation's Capital; Honors Also Bestowed on Other Top Youth Volunteers in Michigan.



LANSING, Mich. -- Jacqueline Kenyon, 16, of Bangor and Ella Kate Wagner, 13, of Belding today were named Michigan's top two youth volunteers for 2006 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 11th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is a United States educational advocacy organization consisting of secondary school principals. To promote excellence among middle school and high school students, NASSP founded and still sponsors the National Honor  (NASSP NASSP National Association of Secondary School Principals
NASSP North American Society of Social Philosophy
).

Jacqueline was nominated by Michigan Lutheran High School Lutheran High School may refer to:
  • Lutheran High School — Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Lutheran High School — Elk Grove, California
  • Lutheran High School — La Verne, California
  • Lutheran High School — Rockford, Illinois
 in St. Joseph, and Ella Kate was nominated by Belding Middle School in Belding. As State Honorees, each will receive $1,000, an engraved en·grave  
tr.v. en·graved, en·grav·ing, en·graves
1. To carve, cut, or etch into a material: engraved the champion's name on the trophy.

2.
 silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees - one middle level and one high school youth - from each of the other states and the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States).  for several days of national recognition events. Ten of them will be named America's top youth volunteers for 2006 at that time.

Jacqueline, a junior at Michigan Lutheran High School, has served for the past four years as ambassador of an annual camp for children with congenital hand differences. "I was born without all my fingers due to what is called Amniotic Band Syndrome amniotic band 'syndrome' Obstetrics A triad of amnion-denuded placenta, fetal attachments to, or entanglement by, amniotic remnants, and fetal deformation, malformation, or limb disruption. See ADAM complex, Sequence. ," Jacqueline said. "Because I have had many experiences with my hands, I can help those who aren't comfortable with their differences."

At the Hands to Love Congenital Hand Camp in Florida, Jacqueline counsels young campers and their parents, both individually and in groups, answering questions and sharing stories about her own experiences. She gives advice, helps children with personal struggles caused by their differences, and tries to build each child's self-confidence "by encouraging them to look at their differences as blessings and not a curse." Jacqueline also urges parents to embrace and encourage their child's differences. In addition, she helps organize activities at the camp, and participates in two benefits each year to raise money for the camp. "What you do or don't have doesn't matter," she said. "It's the real live person that you are that people will see you for."

Ella Kate, an eighth-grader at Belding Middle School, organized a school-wide book collection drive to create a 2,000-volume children's library at a refugee school in the West African West Africa

A region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea. It was largely controlled by colonial powers until the 20th century.



West African adj. & n.
 nation of Guinea. Ella Kate decided to collect books after corresponding with a young girl in a pen-pal program connecting African refugees and U.S. citizens, and then viewing videos sent by her refugee school. "I felt it was important because the refugee students wanted to learn to read English but to be able to do this you need books," she said.

With the help of a teacher friend, Ella Kate created an action plan, recruited student helpers from two schools, gave classroom presentations, made flyers, and devised class competitions. She and her project team then collected and sorted donated books by reading level, calculated classroom winners, and completed the project by shipping 2,000 new and gently used books to Guinea. "I felt really good when I knew the books were on their way," Ella Kate said. The project also sparked increased interest in volunteering at her school, and resulted in a new service-learning class for students.

In addition, the program judges recognized eight other Michigan students as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion:

Sarah Jaward, 17, of Dearborn Heights, a senior at Dearborn High School Dearborn High School is a secondary school, founded in 1893, located on Outer Drive in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. Dearborn High, is one of the three high schools of the Dearborn City School District. The current principal at Dearborn High is Gail Shenkman.  in Dearborn, co-founded a student project called "Food for Ramadan" that provides food to less fortunate Muslim families during the holy month of Ramadan. During each of the past four years Sarah and other members of her school's Arabic/Islamic Club have raised funds, shopped for groceries, assembled dozens of food baskets and then delivered them to local families needing assistance.

Caitlin Kos, 13, of Waterford, a seventh-grader at Marist Academy in Pontiac, raised $5,000 for Asian tsunami victims by organizing a "donations-only" birthday party, followed by a school fund-raising and awareness campaign. With her mother's help, Caitlin decorated her party with posters and pictures of tsunami victims and disaster areas, created a school bulletin board showing students how and where they could contribute, and then organized a teacher appreciation luncheon featuring food from countries hit by the 2004 tsunami.

Bethany Lyon, 17, of Vestaburg, a member-volunteer of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross American Red Cross: see Red Cross.  in Alma and a senior at Under His Wings Christian Academy, trains and works with her certified therapy dog, "Kitty," to help children improve their reading skills at schools and libraries. With Bethany's assistance, Kitty provides young readers with one-on-one attention while they read aloud, shares her unconditional love, and makes reading a fun experience.

Lauren Mondry, 15, of Bloomfield Hills, a sophomore at Seaholm High School Ernest W. Seaholm High School is a public school located within the Birmingham City School District in Birmingham, Michigan, serving grades 9-12. It is located at 2436 West Lincoln Road, Birmingham, Michigan 48009.  in Birmingham, launched a community-wide project that has furnished close to 5,000 knitted caps over the past several years for children undergoing chemotherapy treatment at area hospitals. Lauren has obtained help from local knitting stores and more than 100 volunteers, taught children to knit caps, publicized her project, and distributed her hats to the Children's Hospital in Detroit, Karmanos Cancer Center, and the University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries.  Cancer Center.

Rebecca Nesbit, 16, of Bad Axe, a member of the MSU MSU Michigan State University
MSU Mississippi State University
MSU Montana State University
MSU Minnesota State University
MSU Morehead State University (Kentycky)
MSU Montclair State University
 Extension-Huron County 4-H and a junior at North Huron High School Huron High School may refer to:
  • Huron High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Huron High School, Huron, Ohio
 in Kinde, creates "busy boxes" containing crafts kits, books, games and movies for children in a local hospital. After receiving approval from officials, Rebecca recruited help, organized an advertising campaign to solicit donations, distributed collection boxes to local businesses, and then delivered "Becca's Busy Boxes" to the emergency room and children's floor of the hospital.

Jennifer Wakenell, 17, of Livonia, a senior at Divine Child High School Divine Child High School is a private Catholic high school in Dearborn, Wayne County, Michigan, United States. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, Divine Child offers grades 9 through 12, with an average of around 875 students.  in Dearborn, created a campaign to raise awareness of Turner Syndrome Turner syndrome

Chromosomal disorder (from the presence of only one sex chromosome, X, in all or some of the body's cells) that causes abnormal sexual development in females.
 and nonverbal learning disabilities. After conducting extensive research into the conditions, Jennifer designed informational posters, newsletters and other materials depicting the everyday challenges of children with TS or NLD NLD
abbr.
nonverbal learning disorder
; raised money to establish a specialized lending library on the subjects; and began serving as a spokesperson and advocate for TS and NLD issues.

Gang Xu, 17, of Saginaw, a senior at Heritage High School, organized and leads a tutoring service for struggling middle level students. During his program's first year, Gang recruited and trained 24 student volunteers, solicited financial backing for lesson materials and snacks, and scheduled tutoring sessions for 45 middle school students.

John Zhou, 18, of Northville, a senior at Detroit Country Day School Detroit Country Day School (also known as DCDS, DCD, or Country Day) is a private, secular school located in Beverly Hills, Michigan, northwest of Detroit. DCDS was founded in Detroit in 1914, inspired by the Country Day School movement.  in Beverly Hills, organized a "walk team" that collected more than $7,200 to help AIDS-afflicted individuals and support prevention education programs. John also developed a Chinese/English Web site for Golden Courage International, a charity supporting 300 AIDS-affected orphans in China.

"The recipients of these awards vividly demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities," said Art Ryan, chairman and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of Prudential Financial. "They truly deserve all of the praise and encouragement we can give them."

"The young people recognized by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards demonstrate an enormous capacity for giving and reaching out to those in need," said Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "NASSP is proud to honor them as they are wonderful examples of the high caliber of young people in our nation's schools today."

All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and Volunteer Centers, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award this past November. Nearly 8,000 Local Honorees were then reviewed by state-level judges, who selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria such as personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees will tour the capital's landmarks, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. In addition, 10 of them - five middle level and five high school students - will be named National Honorees on May 8 by a prestigious national selection committee. These honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit, charitable organizations of their choice.

U.S. Senators Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia will serve as co-chairs of the national selection committee. Also serving on the committee will be Ryan of Prudential; actor Richard Dreyfuss; Alma Powell, chair of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth; Robert Goodwin, President and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation; Amy B. Cohen cohen
 or kohen

(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male.
, Director of Learn and Serve America Learn and Serve America is a United States government program under the authority of the Corporation For National and Community Service. Its mission is to provide opportunities for students nation-wide to participate in service learning projects, and to gain valuable experience  at the Corporation for National and Community Service The Corporation for National and Community Service, or CNCS, was created as an independent agency of the United States Government by The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. ; Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA For Girl Scouts worldwide, see Girl Guide and Girl Scout.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad.
; Donald T. Floyd Jr., President and CEO of National 4-H Council; Ken Gladish, National Executive Director of YMCA YMCA
 in full Young Men's Christian Association

Nonsectarian, nonpolitical Christian lay movement that aims to develop high standards of Christian character among its members.
 of the USA; David Vodila, President of NASSP; and two 2005 Prudential Spirit of Community National Honorees: Devin Cohen of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., and Lindsey Williams of St. Joseph, Mo.

In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program will be distributing President's Volunteer Service Awards to nearly 4,200 of its Local Honorees this year on behalf of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation was created by President George W. Bush in January 2003 by executive order. Its mission is to encourage volunteerism and to recognize the contributions Americans make through service and civic participation. . The President's Volunteer Service Award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is supported by National 4-H Council, Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, YMCA of the USA, Points of Light Foundation, American Association of School Administrators The American Association of School Administrators (AASA), founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. , National Middle School Association, National School Boards Association, Council of the Great City Schools, National School Public Relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most  Association, and many other national youth and service organizations.

The awards are part of a broad initiative created by Prudential to encourage young people to become involved in community service. Other elements of the initiative include a community leadership training program for high school students, now administered by the Points of Light Foundation; and a variety of educational materials for young people and teachers relating to youth volunteerism.

For information on all of this year's Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit www.prudential.com/spirit, or www.principals.org/prudential.

NASSP - the preeminent organization and the national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders - provides its members the professional resources to serve as visionary leaders. NASSP promotes the intellectual growth, academic achievement, character development, leadership development, and physical well-being of youth through its programs and student leadership services. NASSP administers the National Honor Society The National Honor Society (NHS), established in 1921, is a recognition program for American high school students who show achievement in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. (TM), National Junior Honor Society National Junior Honor Society, or NJHS is a worldwide organization that consists of many chapters in middle schools (grades 6-8). Selection is based on five criteria: citizenship, service, leadership, scholarship and character. (TM), and National Association of Student Councils(TM).

Prudential Financial companies serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement related services and administration, asset management, securities brokerage, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises and relocation services. For more information, visit www.prudential.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 14, 2006
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