Giving Back

Summit Teen Honored with President's Volunteer Service Award

Akanksha Patel

SUMMIT, NJ -  Akanksha Patel, age 15, of Summit, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.  The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barak Obama.  The Summit YMCA nominated Patel for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

As a volunteer for the past year at the Summit YMCA, Patel contributed her time and talent to help care for the children in Kid Zone and at birthday parties hosted at the Y, as well as other volunteer activities. Through these efforts, she has gained the satisfaction of giving back to her community.  “Akanksha loves volunteering.  It has taught her valuable skills such as patience, responsibility, teamwork, time management and empathy for others,” commented Terri Clinton, Executive Director of the Summit YMCA.  “Her volunteer activities have helped her to grow by enhancing her social skills and by building relationships with individuals of all ages.  She is a very responsible and courteous young lady with a caring nature and, most importantly, she treats everyone with a lot of respect.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

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“The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial.  “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti.  “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs, and HandsOn Network affiliates.  These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging.  In addition to granting President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of President Barack Obama, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorees, Distinguished Finalists, and Certificate of Excellence recipients.  Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact, and personal growth.


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