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District 191 students receive major recognition for volunteering

Shrey Pothini and Olivia BrammerTwo students from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 are among top youth volunteers honored by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Shrey Pothini, an eighth grader at Eagle Ridge Middle School, is one of two state honorees who will receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to join with other state honorees for four days of national recognition events in April. During the trip, 10 students will be named as America’s top youth volunteers of 2018.

Shrey has organized a city-wide “day of service” for the past three years to mobilize community members to help others. Shrey has been passionate about community service ever since he collected new bath towels for a local homeless youth shelter when he was five years old. Next, he started a service club at his school, which earned a grant to create service clubs in other elementary schools in District 191.

His “Service Day Saturday” continues to grow and resulted in more than 1,500 people participating last year along with , the collection of 4,000 pounds of food, 2,000 books to nonprofits, 4,000 lunch bags for Meals on Wheels, and more.

Burnsville High School senior Olivia Brammer was among six Minnesota students named as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. She has served as a member of her city’s parks and natural resources commission, the president of her school’s youth service advisory council, as a mentor for at-risk middle level students, and more. As a house manager for her school’s performing arts center, Olivia started a program that has recycled more than 7,000 tickets, cups and other paper and plastic items. She’s also active with BurnsvilleStrong, WEDay and Bowls for BrainPower, which sends weekend food home with students in need.

Olivia was also a Distinguished Finalist last year (along with Egeziharya Yilma), reaching the highest honor for volunteering that any Burnsville High School student has attained.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 23rd year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Learn more about the award at

Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 16:24