Orion Jean of Fort Worth, Texas named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of 2021 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognize students in grades 5 through 12 for their significant contributions to their communities through volunteer service.
Orion, a fifth grader at Chisholm Ridge Elementary, collected more than 600 toys for children in a children’s hospital and provided more than 40,000 meals to those in need after winning a national speech contest encouraging people to “Race to Kindness.” . “When Orion realized that” the best way to spread kindness is to lead by example, “he began planning a series of” racing “events starting with the” Race of 500 “after winning his contest Toys “. For this toy ride, he researched toys that were both fun and budget-friendly, and then posted a wish list on a website his mother created. With his prize money and donations made through the website, Orion began making toys He also set up toy collection boxes in his school and community center, and in just over a month Orion collected more than 600 toys, which he unpacked, sorted and delivered to a Dallas Children’s hospital last fall.
Orion wanted to do something bigger for his second “race” so he started the “race for 100,000 meals”. Working with an organization that collects food for the hungry, Orion filled “snack packs” with fruit, granola bars and water bottles and appealed to others to do the same. He then helped organize local handover events and packed all the donated sack packages into delivery vans. Drop-off events have also been held in other states by people inspired by Orion. At the last count, Orion was well on its way to meeting his goal of 100,000 meals.
“After 26 years of honoring young volunteers, we know that students across America are doing great service to their communities, and we are particularly inspired by this year’s award winners for doing so in the face of unprecedented challenges,” he said Charles Lowrey, Chairman and CEO of Prudential. “Prudential prides itself on bringing the spotlight to these remarkable young people and their service histories.”
“These young volunteers are great examples of the resilience and commitment to social progress that so many students have shown over the past year,” he said Ronn Nozoe, Managing Director, NASSP. “NASSP congratulates these students on a well-deserved honor and thanks them for providing role models for all of us to turn adversity into reality.”
These are the other national winners:
- Katie Chai, 18, of Charlotte, North Carolinawho helped address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in their city by using 3D printers and laser cutters to create more than 100,000 face shields that were ultimately distributed to healthcare workers North Carolina and in 12 other states.
- Michael Chen, 13, of Raleigh, North Carolinawho has created more than 580 mask “buckles” on his 3D printer to alleviate the discomfort that wearing face masks behind the ears for extended periods of time can cause.
- Ruby Kate Chitsey, 13, of Harrison, Arkansaswho has more than raised $ 300,000 Fulfilling desires for more than 8,000 nursing home residents across the country who cannot afford daily expenses like pet food, haircuts or clothes that fit properly.
- Cash Daniels, 11, from Chattanooga, Tennesseewho has organized cleanups that removed more than 11,000 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River, recycled over 1,000 pounds of aluminum cans to raise money for river conservation, and installed fishing line recycling bins along the river.
- Thomas Kim, 17, of McLean, Virginia, who has piloted more than 20 flights since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver over 70,000 personal protection equipment (PPE) items and ventilators to rural hospitals in four states.
- Suraj kulkarni, 18, of Corvallis, Oregonwho created a website where young people from different backgrounds can share their experiences, perspectives and culture, as well as online conferences attended by young people from more than 13 countries.
- Gitanjali Rao, 15, of Lone tree, Coloradowho has reached more than 30,000 students around the world and encourages younger generations to think creatively about tackling the world’s great challenges by running online workshops sharing the unique problem-solving method she has developed.
- Samantha Vance, 12, of Fort Wayne, Indianawho started an initiative to provide buddy benches for shy, lonely, or bullied children in more than 150 schools across the country.
- Ellie Zimmerman, 18, of Purchase, New Yorkwho is the founder and CEO of an organization that has recruited thousands of students across the country to provide technology support to more than 180 nonprofits, as well as teachers, parents, and students struggling with distance learning.
The national winners were announced on Sunday, culminating in a three-day weekend of events celebrating the 102 state winners of Spirit of Community – the best junior and high school volunteers of 2021 from each state and state District of Columbia. In addition to comments from the guest speaker Priyanka Chopra Jonaswho have favourited State Honorees connected through small group project exchange sessions and learned about service and advocacy from seasoned Spirit of Community alumni. They were also complimented by special guests, including Lowrey of Prudential and Nozoe of NASSP.
To read the names and stories of this year’s State Honorees, visit http://spirit.prudential.com.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a leading financial wellness provider and leading active global investment manager, operates in the United States The United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The diverse and talented people at Prudential help make life better by providing financial opportunity to more people. Prudential’s iconic rock symbol has been synonymous with strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. More information is available at http://news.prudential.com.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization and voice of school principals and other school principals The United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership and recognizes that fulfilling the potential of any student depends on great leaders in each school who are committed to the success of each student. Because of its longstanding commitment to developing student leadership, the NASSP administers the National Honor Society, the National Junior Honor Society, the National Elementary Honor Society, and the National Student Council. Learn more at http://nassp.org.
SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc.