Top Youth Volunteers in Each State Selected in 18th Annual National Awards Program


Top Youth Volunteers in Each State Selected in 18thAnnual National Awards Program

102 student volunteers earn $1,000 awards, silver medallions and trip to nation's capital

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- America's 102 most outstanding youth volunteers - two from each state and the District of Columbia - were named State Honorees today by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 18th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Each of the 102 State Honorees will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, ten of them will be named America's top youth volunteers for 2013.

In addition to the State Honorees, the program's judges recognized 234 students nationwide as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion. More than 400 other applicants were awarded Certificates of Excellence for their volunteer work. (See attached list of State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists.)

Many of this year's State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists were recognized for working to combat bullying, raise money for cancer research and make more activities accessible to people with disabilities. Others were honored for mentoring other young people and supporting U.S. veterans and troops. A great deal of energy was also devoted to addressing critical needs abroad; many honorees volunteered to help provide impoverished and disaster-stricken communities overseas with food, clothes, shoes, education and comfort.

Learn about the volunteer activities of each State Honoree and Distinguished Finalist at

"Prudential is proud to honor these students for making meaningful contributions to their communities," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. "We hope that shining a spotlight on their initiative, creativity and compassion inspires others to consider how they, too, can make a difference."

"Through their volunteer service, each of these young people has made his or her mark on at least one person, school or community," said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. "When you consider the collective impact of each of these individual acts, it's clear that young people can be a major force for good."

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. 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 HandsOn Network affiliates, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Nearly 5,000 Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees - one middle level and one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia - will tour the capital's landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from other parts of the world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. On May 6, 10 of the State Honorees - five middle level and five high school students - will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2013. These National 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.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 100,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and India. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President's Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees on behalf of President Barack Obama.


NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 36 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society™, National Junior Honor Society®, National Elementary Honor Society®, and National Association of Student Councils®. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYS: PRU) , a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

Editors: For full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards program logo and medallions, click here:

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 2013 State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists


State Honorees:

Kristen Ashley, 17, Hewitt-Trussville High School, Trussville

Emily Whittington, 13, Knollwood Christian School, Mobile

Distinguished Finalists:

Sarah Arwood, 17, Parrish High School, Parrish

Eli Nafziger, 14, Hewitt-Trussville High School, Trussville

Micah Smith, 16, Hoover High School, Hoover

Caitlin Wall, 18, Florence High School, Florence


State Honorees:

Shaylee Rizzo, 17, Nikiski Middle/High School, Nikiski

Samuel Allred, 13, Raven Correspondence School, Anchorage

Distinguished Finalists:

Allison Ostrander, 16, Kenai Central High School, Kenai

Reese Qualls, 13, Palmer Junior Middle School, Palmer


State Honorees:

Morgan Beckwith, 18, Telesis Center for Learning, Lake Havasu City

Alexandra Cockett, 13, Trivium Preparatory Academy, Goodyear

Distinguished Finalists:

Naveen Dasari, 15, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale

Sarah Heiser, 18, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson

Henry Ng, 18, Glendale High School, Glendale

Aditi Poduval, 17, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale

Matthew Safford, 17, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale

Braden Whitaker, 18, Ironwood Ridge High School, Tucson


State Honorees:

Tiffany Easter, 18, Sheridan High School, Sheridan

Blake Abston, 13, Pulaski Heights Middle School, Little Rock

Distinguished Finalists:

Tatiana Borecky, 17, Shirley High School, Newport

Katherine Boyd, 17, Huntsville High School, Huntsville

Robert Callahan, 16, Southside High School, Batesville

Hailey Flatte, 18, Greenwood High School, Greenwood


State Honorees:

Allyson Ahlstrom, 17, Cardinal Newman High School, Santa Rosa

Teagan Stedman, 13, Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles

Distinguished Finalists:

Madison Brinnon, 17, YMCA of the East Bay, Oakland

Lulu Cerone, 13, Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles

Rohan Chandra, 17, The Harker School, San Jose

Shawn Esmaili, 18, Saint Francis High School, Mountain View

Sydney Fredette, 13, St. Anne School, Laguna Niguel

Noah Lizerbram, 18, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad

Danamarie McNicholl-Carter, 18, Academy of Our Lady of Peace, San Diego

Nicole Minkina, 17, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Rancho Santa Margarita

Samuel Patton, 14, Nevada County 4-H, Grass Valley

Kayla Tinucci, 16, Canyon High School, Canyon Country


State Honorees:

Austin Reed, 18, Wray High School, Wray

Estefania Martinez, 13, North Middle School Health Sciences & Technology Campus, Aurora

Distinguished Finalists:

Matthew Golub, 18, Evergreen High School, Evergreen

Andrew Pham, 18, Cherokee Trail High School, Aurora

Courtney Pool, 18, Pine Creek High School, Colorado Springs

Navya Roy, 16, Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch


State Honorees:

Alison Forger, 16, Masuk High School, Monroe

Anna Murphy, 11, Stafford Elementary School, Stafford Springs

Distinguished Finalists:

Hanna De Bruyn, 16, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Old Lyme

Tyler Hoffman, 17, Farmington High School, Litchfield

Lexi Kelley, 16, St. Luke's School, New Canaan

Charles Proctor, 18, Hopkins School, New Haven


State Honorees:

Krysta Pritchett, 17, Sussex Technical High School, Georgetown

Kyle Spillane, 13, Kent County 4-H, Dover

Distinguished Finalists:

Emily Ciuffetelli, 17, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Wilmington

Daniel Iammatteo, 17, Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes

District of Columbia

State Honorees:

Kahlil Epps, 16, St. John's College High School, Washington

Miheret Hasenu, 13, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Washington

Distinguished Finalists:

Treyon Hancock, 18, Options Public Charter School, Washington

Brianna Little, 17, Benjamin Banneker High School, Washington


State Honorees:

Alexis Lehrman, 14, Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami

Joshua Williams, 11, Ransom Everglades School, Coconut Grove

Distinguished Finalists:

Sara Brenes, 17, The Randazzo School, Coconut Creek

Erica Chemtob, 17, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park

Valentina Ferreira, 19, Wellington High School, Wellington

Christopher George, 13, Equip Education, Miramar

N'Jhari Jackson, 10, The Paideia School of Tampa Bay, Tampa

Lance Oppenheim, 17, HandsOn Broward, Lauderhill

Randall Slapikas, 13, Forest Glen Middle School, Coral Springs

Tiffany Tang, 17, Cypress Creek High School, Orlando


State Honorees:

David Resnick, 18, Centennial High School, Roswell

Kelsey Hirsch, 13, Piney Grove Middle School, Cumming

Distinguished Finalists:

Julia Abelsky, 18, North Springs Charter High School, Sandy Springs

Ben Bearup, 14, Webb Bridge Middle School, Alpharetta

Chase Czaykowsky, 15, Atlanta Adventist Academy, Duluth

Sara McCorkle, 17, Evans County 4-H, Claxton

Mary Claire Birdsong, 18, McFarlane School, Augusta

Shaurya Verma, 17, Milton High School, Milton


State Honorees:

Brittany Amano, 15, 'Iolani School, Honolulu

Michael-Logan Jordan, 14, Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua

Distinguished Finalists:

Scott Fetz, 17, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kamuela

Lynn Nguyen, 16, Punahou School, Honolulu


State Honorees:

Abigail Blue, 17, Mountain View High School, Meridian

Katie Skarpnes, 12, Vallivue Middle School, Caldwell

Distinguished Finalists:

Kyle Ashby, 17, Bishop Kelly High School, Boise

Carl Breidenbach, 18, Timberline High School, Boise


State Honorees:

Paige Logan, 18, Effingham County 4-H, Effingham

Jashira Bolden, 13, Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary School, East St. Louis

Distinguished Finalists:

Mark Crenshaw, 18, Eureka High School, Eureka

Jake Herb, 16, Barrington High School, Barrington

Isha Jog, 17, Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates

Ingrid Lustig, 18, Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest

Alex Marck, 18, Aquin Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Freeport

Michael Bryant Powell, 18, Belleville West High School, Belleville

Jen Rubino, 18, Maine South High School, Park Ridge

Matthew Williams, 15, Vienna High School, Vienna


State Honorees:

Cayman Jarvis, 17, Center Grove High School, Greenwood

Courtland Cottle, 13, Maple Crest Middle School, Kokomo

Distinguished Finalists:

Kellie Dippel, 18, Brownsburg High School, Brownsburg

Brooke Campbell, 18, East Noble High School, Kendallville

Audrey Eckart, 14, Clark-Pleasant Middle School, Greenwood

Kaylin Fanta, 17, Hanover Central High School, Cedar Lake

Amber Kriech, 18, Carmel High School, Carmel

Clayton Smith, 17, Tri-Central High School, Sharpsville


State Honorees:

Katelyn Cinnamon, 17, Valley High School, West Des Moines

Samantha Dilocker, 13, Red Oak Middle School, Red Oak

Distinguished Finalists:

Bradley Baudler, 18, Adair County 4-H, Greenfield

Dylan DeClerck, 17, Valley High School, West Des Moines

Julianne Delessio, 18, Pleasant Valley High School, Bettendorf

Jacy McAlexander, 12, Carroll County 4-H, Carroll


State Honorees:

Cassie Wang, 17, Olathe Northwest High School, Olathe

Alec Elffner, 14, Hiawatha Middle School, Hiawatha

Distinguished Finalists:

Logan Brown, 17, Free State High School, Lawrence

Blake Carnes, 17, Blue Valley West High School, Overland Park

Luke Garrison, 17, Shawnee County 4-H, Topeka

Anna Lipscomb, 16, Heritage Christian Academy, Olathe


State Honorees:

Virginia Newsome, 17, Lafayette High School, Lexington

Madison Roy, 10, St. Raphael the Archangel School, Louisville

Distinguished Finalists:

Faith Call, 17, Southwestern High School, Somerset

Jessica Collins, 13, Martha Layne Collins High School, Shelbyville

Olivia Colliver, 18, Montgomery County High School, Mt. Sterling

Victoria Poston, 17, Marshall County 4-H, Benton


State Honorees:

Kellie Abbott, 17, Haughton High School, Haughton

Erica LeMere, 14, University of Texas University Charter, Meridell Campus, Liberty Hill

Distinguished Finalists:

Alexa Babin, 17, C. E. Byrd High School, Shreveport

Henry Futch, 14, Cedar Creek School, Ruston

Madison Heil, 18, Fontainebleau High School, Mandeville

Safa Michigan, 13, Caddo Middle Magnet, Shreveport


State Honorees:

Katherine Elliott, 18, Scarborough High School, Scarborough

Marissa Bates, 10, Girl Scouts of Maine, South Portland

Distinguished Finalists:

Corey Kruszenski, 18, Kennebunk High School, Kennebunk

Sydney Pepin, 14, Massabesic High School, Waterboro


State Honorees:

William Michie, 17, Archbishop Spalding High School, Severn

Sade Miller, 12, Lockerman Middle School, Denton

Distinguished Finalists:

Celeste Awokoya-Gregory, 17, James Hubert Blake High School, Silver Spring

Nylah Burton, 17, Guyton-Burton Homeschool, Upper Marlboro

Susanqi Jiang, 16, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville

Jessica Lantz, 17, Easton High School, Easton

Melissa Rifkin, 17, Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Frederick

Lindsay White, 17, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson


State Honorees:

Lauren Sundstrom, 18, Newburyport High School, Newburyport

Emily Fabre, 12, Essex County 4-H, Waltham

Distinguished Finalists:

Jason Carrier, 17, Austin Preparatory School, Reading

Erica Chalmers, 17, The Rivers School, Weston

Jake Cohen, 19, Brookline High School, Brookline

Rachel Collins, 17, Tyngsborough High School, Lowell

Riona Reeves, 16, St. Mark's School, Southborough

Sejal Vallabh, 17, Newton North High School, Newton


State Honorees:

Keegan Scholte, 18, Gobles Public Schools, Gobles

Catherine Sesi, 12, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills

Distinguished Finalists:

Bailey Baringer, 17, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Pontiac

Noah Bizer, 17, South Lyon East High School, South Lyon

Ali Elreichouni, 17, Fordson High School, Dearborn

Marwa Harp, 17, Fordson High School, Dearborn

Autumn Holliday, 15, Morley Stanwood High School, Big Rapids

Marlena Megerian, 18, Livonia Public Schools, Livonia

Kilian Southworth, 12, DeWitt Junior High School, DeWitt

Taylor Weckstein, 14, Central High School, Traverse City


State Honorees:

Hawi Awash, 17, Highland Park Senior High School, St. Paul

Louie McGee, 12, Highland Catholic School, St. Paul

Distinguished Finalists:

Brock Bleichner, 18, Battle Lake High School, Battle Lake

Xiuqi Cao, 18, Century High School, Rochester

Jacob Jensen, 15, Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea

Corey Loken, 16, Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope

Christopher Nguyen, 18, Spring Lake Park High School, Spring Lake Park

Kristina Swenson, 15, St. Michael-Albertville Senior High School, St. Michael


State Honorees:

Emilee Parker, 14, Stringer Attendance Center, Stringer

Joshua Prochaska, 13, Tate County 4-H, Senatobia

Distinguished Finalists:

Mary Broadhead, 17, Simpson Academy, Mendenhall

Taide Ding, 18, Oxford High School, Oxford

Katie Pinkard, 17, Mississippi School of the Arts, Brookhaven

Alivia Roberts, 16, Lee County 4-H, Tupelo


State Honorees:

Sarah Sutherlin, 18, Villa Duchesne & Oak Hill School, St. Louis

Sophia Greenwalt, 14, Reeds Spring Middle School, Reeds Spring

Distinguished Finalists:

Sophie Bernstein, 13,, St. Bonaventure, NY

Slava Butkovich, 18, Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs

Sarah Casteel, 16, Clayton High School, Clayton

August Clark, 17, Marquette High School, Chesterfield

Nancy Fairbank, 16, Central High School, Springfield

Ryan Schweitzer, 17, Hillsboro High School, Hillsboro


State Honorees:

Patricia Danielle Gornick, 18, Sentinel High School, Missoula

Isaiah Hesford, 13, Boulder Elementary School, Boulder

Distinguished Finalists:

Maria Abbot, 18, Loyola Sacred Heart High School, Missoula

Sara Bonk, 17, Skyview High School, Billings


State Honorees:

Alexandra Baxter, 17, United Way of the Midlands, Omaha

My'Kah Knowlin, 11, Lux Middle School, Lincoln

Distinguished Finalists:

Justine Bauer, 15, Elm Creek Schools, Elm Creek

Madeline Lorenzen, 18, Millard Public Schools, Omaha


State Honorees:

Konner Robison, 17, Sage Ridge School, Reno

Anthony Schrecengost, 14, Sig Rogich Middle School, Las Vegas

Distinguished Finalists:

Anvi Bhakta, 17, Elko High School, Elko

Haley Little, 17, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Las Vegas

Karthik Rohatgi, 15, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno

Ashley Taylor, 16, Sage Ridge School, Reno

New Hampshire

State Honorees:

Mariah Larocque, 17, Pinkerton Academy, Derry

Anne Macleod, 14, Windham Middle School, Windham

Distinguished Finalists:

Maya Bloom, 18, Hopkinton High School, Contoocook

John Heald, 18, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter

New Jersey

State Honorees:

Zachary Certner, 16, Morristown High School, Morristown

Ellen "Nelle" Evans, 13, Lawrence Middle School, Lawrenceville

Distinguished Finalists:

Paige Alenick, 17, Pascack Hills High School, Montvale

Salvatore Dragone, 18, Clearview Regional High School, Mullica Hill

Matthew Horbacz, 18, Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft

Joseph Mandes, 18, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Galloway

Michael Mandes, 18, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Galloway

Christopher Rim, 17, The Academies @ Englewood, Englewood

New Mexico

State Honorees:

Brianna Swinderman, 16, Rio Rancho High School, Rio Rancho

Joseph Lee Estrada, 14, Peñasco Middle/High School, Peñasco

Distinguished Finalists:

James Maynard, 18, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque

Kelly Oostman, 17, American Red Cross in New Mexico, Albuquerque

New York

State Honorees:

Samuel Lam, 17, Jericho Senior High School, Jericho

Cory Nichols, 12, Oceanside Middle School, Oceanside

Distinguished Finalists:

Shane Carman, 17, Geneseo Central School, Geneseo

Kevin Chaves, 16, Kings Park High School, Kings Park

Jennah Ferrari, 11, Woodland Elementary School, East Syracuse

Marcella Ferraro, 17, Hunter-Tannersville Middle/High School, Tannersville

Stefanie Kaufman, 17, W. Tresper Clarke High School, Westbury

Adam Moss, 17, South Side High School, Rockville Centre

Steven Trezza, 17, West Hempstead High School, West Hempstead

Alec Urbach, 17, Long Island High School for the Arts, Syosset

North Carolina

State Honorees:

Emma Astrike-Davis, 16, Cary Academy, Cary

Madison Bechtel, 14, Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School, Wake Forest

Distinguished Finalists:

Michael Brienza, 17, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte

Avery Faucette, 16, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte

Katherine Hicks, 18, American Red Cross, Raleigh