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BHS students are finalists in Prudential Spirit of Community Award program

Olivia Brammer and Egeziharya Yilma were selected to be among six Distinguished Finalists from Minnesota for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This is the highest honor for volunteering that any Burnsville High School student has attained.

“To have both of them selected for this award is amazing,” said Bri Ostoff, Community Education Youth Service Coordinator. “We can be very proud that Burnsville High School students have received this level of recognition for their community service.”

Olivia Brammer, left, and Egeziharya Yilma are extraordinary volunteer

Olivia is a junior who is an active volunteer on the “Bowls for Brainpower” leadership team to feed kids in need. She is also the house manager for the school’s Mraz Center for the Performing Arts and a youth commissioner for Burnsville’s parks and natural resources commission. Her efforts have provided guidance related to city resources that service 65,000 residents, and helped to raise more than $20,000 to feed local elementary schoolers in need over the weekends.

Ostoff praised Olivia’s efforts with BurnsvilleStrong, WEDay, the BHS theatre, student council and Bowls for Brainpower. “Being around Olivia is infectious,” said Ostoff. “Her passion inspires others to join her in giving back.” 

Egeziharya, a senior who has held collection drives that gathered $10,000 worth of school supplies for students in need in Ethiopia, has grown her “Project Pencil” to include other schools outside her district. After meeting students on a trip to Ethiopia who were sharing notebooks and pencils, Egeziharya came home determined to help and has since connected with businesses, other students and Ethiopia’s education bureau to expand her efforts.

“Egeziharya is an amazing young woman who saw a problem and took it upon herself to find a solution,” said Ostoff. “She went above and beyond creating ‘Project Pencils’.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 22nd year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  

Each student recognized as a Distinguished Finalist for their impressive community service activities will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

Learn more about the award at