Ten students who shared their time and talents to serve others were honored Monday at the national Spirit of Community Awards in Washington.
The volunteers, who are ages 11 to 18, aided the homeless, raised money for cancer research and provided underprivileged kids with school supplies, among other projects.
They were chosen as state winners in February from among 31,000 middle school and high school volunteers nationwide based partly on their efforts and what kind of impact they made. The 102 state winners came to Washington over the weekend for the national awards, which included an appearance by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
The awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial and come with a $5,000 scholarship and $5,000 for the winners’ charity of choice. State winners each receive $1,000.
The winners are:
●Amal Bhatnagar, 18, of Duluth, Georgia, for starting a club to provide first-aid kits to people who lack health care access.
●Riley Callen, 14, of Pawlet, Vermont, for founding an annual “hike-a-thon” to raise money for brain-tumor research.
●Ariana DeMattei, 16, of Center Moriches, New York, for founding a program to raise money to provide new backpacks filled with school supplies for elementary students.
●Sarah (Katie) Eder, 17, of Shorewood, Wisconsin, for developing a creative-writing workshop for children in need where teens are the teachers.
●Bradley Ferguson, 16, of Northfield, New Jersey, for starting a service club that refurbished an American Legion post, collected and prepared food for homeless people, and grew produce at community gardens.
●Harmonie Frederick, 11, of Columbia, South Carolina, for raising money to fight cancer, conducting a coat drive and volunteering at a nursing home.
●Lorelei McIntyre-Brewer, 11, of Duncannon, Pennsylvania, for building a volunteer network that has provided special pillows for children undergoing heart surgery.
●Kelsey Norris, 13, of Bonaire, Georgia, for giving more than 1,000 volunteer hours and raising money for a wide variety of charities.
●Kenan Pala, 13, of San Diego, California, for raising money for local shelters and coordinating meals at shelter kitchens.
●Meghana Reddy, 18, of La Mesa, California, for using 3-D printers to produce artificial hands for those who cannot afford them.
The state honorees from the Washington, D.C., area were:
D.C.: Debora Abera and Ayomide Okuleye
Maryland: Lena Goldstein pf Arnold and Michaela West of Beltsville
Virginia: Lucia Hoerr of Charlottesville and Shishir Sriramoju of Ashburn