Rachel Siegel, 17, of Las Vegas, a student at The Meadows School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a 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 the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The Meadows School nominated Rachel for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.
This past summer, Rachel sewed fifty pillows in the shape of "I Love You' in sign language and sent them to the Deaf Blind Camp of Maryland. Once the pillows arrived, the campers stuffed them and finished off the project. "I wanted to spread awareness about the abilities of individuals who are deaf/blind because they are often discriminated against," Rachel said. She plans to pair with local and national organizations to continue this project. Any fabric that is left over from the pillow project is used to create bandanas for dogs up for adoption at Foreclosed Upon Pets, Inc., an organization the student has been involved with for 5 years.
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.
"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 Stangfeld, 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 the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, 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.