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The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 2014 State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists


Some took a stand against bullying. Others led efforts to feed the hungry. Many provided support to veterans of the U.S. armed forces and comfort to the homeless.

Those are just some of the stories of the 102 youth volunteers – two from each state and the District of Columbia – who today were named State Honorees by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring students in grades 5-12 for outstanding volunteer service. The awards program, now in its 19th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Each of the 102 State Honorees will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 of them will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2014.

In addition to the State Honorees, the program’s judges recognized 234 students nationwide as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion. More than 500 other applicants were awarded Certificates of Excellence for their volunteer work. (See attached list of State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists.)

Many of this year’s State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists were recognized for their innovative efforts to collect spare food, school supplies and other essentials to donate to people in need. A number of these top youth volunteers led efforts to feed the hungry through community gardening, and many more created programs to help other young people succeed in school or overcome difficult personal circumstances.

Learn about the volunteer activities of each State Honoree and Distinguished Finalist at

“We applaud each of these young people for their exemplary volunteer service,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “They use their time and talents to make a meaningful difference in their communities, and we hope their example inspires others to do the same.”

“By going above and beyond in their volunteer service, these students have brought positive change to communities across the country,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “Congratulations to each and every one of them on this well-deserved honor.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 2014 State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists from New York:

New York

State Honorees:
Sean Egan, 17, Monsignor Farrell High School, Staten Island
Haley Maier, 11, Orleans County 4-H, Albion

Distinguished Finalists:
Nicholas Courtney, 17, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Buffalo
Brooke DiPalma, 17, West Islip Senior High School, West Islip
Camille Marshall, 17, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Ogdensburg
Akash Mehta, 16, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn
Jessica Penna, 18, St. Anthony’s High School, South Huntington
Caroline Pennacchio, 15, Briarcliff High School, Briarcliff Manor
Brook Peters, 17, McBurney YMCA, New York
Pascale Stain, 17, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Albany

For more information on Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honorees and all of the Distinguished Finalists, visit

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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