Two extraordinary student volunteers were recently named local honorees to represent Burnsville High School for the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
Sunny Vuong and Maedin Abegaz are now in the running to be named one of Minnesota's top youth volunteers of 2015. The award is sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals to recognize outstanding community service by young Americans. Selection criteria is based on initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.
“The program's goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities,” said Assistant Superintendent Cindy Amoroso.
Sunny, a senior, has a volunteered a total of 436 hours since she started as a sophomore at Burnsville High School. She volunteers in an elementary afterschool program and many school events. She also volunteers at a local food shelf and with BrainPower in a BackPack at Burnsville High School, which is a community service project that provides weekend food for elementary students in need.
At Burnsville High School, Sunny participates in the AVID and Upward Bound college readiness programs, Travel Club and Diversity Club. She is a member of badminton and softball teams.
"I volunteer to help my community as much as they have helped me when I was little," said Sunny. "Volunteering has shown me that helping others is really fun and helps me see other people's points of view in life."
Maedin, a junior, has volunteered 130 hours at Fairview Ridges Hospital and with Youth Environmental in Minnesota. She is in the Student Council and serves as secretary for the Youth Advisory Council at Burnsville High School. She also participates in Science Quiz Bowl, Science Club, Green Team, National Honor Society and the Ethiopian Student Association. She is on the cross country and track teams.
"By volunteering at the hospital, I was able to picture myself working in the medical field among other care providers who share the same passion as me," said Maedin, who encourages other young people to volunteer in their community. "I will continue to volunteer at the hospital because it is what I love to do."
Learn more about the award at www.spirit.prudential.com.