SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Tori Hayes recently received a great honor when she was chosen as Union Catholic’s Prudential Spirit of Community Award recipient, which recognizes students who make meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

For being selected, Hayes, a senior from Union, will receive a Certificate of Achievement and she advances to the state level judging where she will have a chance of being named New Jersey’s award winner, which will be announced in February. All the state honorees will then advance to the national level.

Emily Farrell, Michael Valentin and Zamira Ysaac were all chosen as Union Catholic’s runners-up in the prestigious program and will be awarded Certificates of Merit.

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Hayes has been extremely active in and out of school during her years at Union Catholic. She has traveled to Haiti 14 times over the past six years to volunteer at her aunt’s orphanage, is President of UC’s Project Haiti, is a member of the French Club, a member of the Big Brother/Big Sister Club, serves as school ambassador, is on the Student Council, and she competes on the tennis team, swim team, and lacrosse team.

Hayes was honored to be chosen as Union Catholic’s 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community award recipient.

“I was very happy when I found out that I was chosen for all the work I’ve done,’’ said Hayes. “It’s really nice to be recognized by the school and represent Union Catholic. It’s very rewarding and a great honor.’’

Hayes said giving back to the community is something that runs in her family and makes her feel good.

“My parents have always given so much and they always say to give back anyway you can, and they showed me how to do that,’’ said Hayes. “So helping out and volunteering has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing, especially with my aunt’s orphanage in Haiti. It feels good to give back and help people.’’

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