NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kruthik
Ravikanti, 17, of Alpharetta and
Ava Mincey, 12, of Statesboro today were named Georgia's top youth volunteers of 2021 by The
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, America's largest youth
recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service.
As State Honorees, Kruthik and Ava will each receive a
$2,500 scholarship, a silver
medallion and an invitation to the program's virtual national
recognition celebration in April, where 10 of the 102 State
Honorees will be named America's top youth volunteers of the year.
Those 10 National Honorees will earn an additional $5,000 scholarship, a gold medallion, a crystal
trophy for their nominating organization and a $5,000 grant for a nonprofit charitable
organization of their choice.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted annually by
Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association
of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honors students in grades
5-12 for making meaningful contributions to their communities
through volunteer service.
"We created the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 26 years
ago to highlight and support the work of young people taking on the
challenges of a changing world – a mission that rings truer than
ever given the events of last year," said Charles Lowrey, Prudential's chairman and
CEO. "We are proud to celebrate the vision and determination of
Spirit of Community's Class of 2021, and all the ways they're
making their communities safer, healthier and more equitable places
These are Georgia's top youth
volunteers of 2021:
High School State Honoree: Kruthik
Nominated by Alpharetta High
Kruthik, a senior at Alpharetta High School, co-founded a
nonprofit organization to help other young people start, fund and
execute their own service projects. Kruthik said he and a fellow
high school student realized that many young people aren't
particularly interested in typical types of volunteering, but have
a desire to launch their own service projects. However, they often
lack the necessary resources, such as the time and money it takes
to obtain official nonprofit status. To address this problem, the
two friends created "Georgia Youth Leaders" (GYL), a 501(c)3
organization that provides information and guidance to young social
entrepreneurs, allows them to benefit from nonprofit status, helps
them procure funding, and supports them in other ways.
Once GYL was formed, the founders held seminars to attract high
schoolers who had service projects that could operate under the GYL
umbrella. Then GYL began applying for grants to help fund those
projects, publicizing them through social media, mentoring their
leaders, and developing a website. Eight projects are now part of
the GYL family, pursuing missions including relief to victims of
human trafficking, environmental cleanups, and donating books to
children in need. "Georgia Youth Leaders is a bridge connecting
change-makers with teens trying to find their passions through
volunteering," said Kruthik.
Middle Level State Honoree: Ava Mincey
Nominated by William
James Middle School
Ava, a sixth-grader at William James Middle School, has raised
thousands of dollars for Alzheimer's disease research in honor of
her late great-grandmother, by selling lemonade and raising money
online. Ava has volunteered at the community support center
established by her grandmother since 2015, where she has come to
enjoy helping clients and their caregivers. Her work there taught
her a lot about Alzheimer's disease, and convinced her that she
needed to help find a cure. "The more research and education about
the disease that can be done, the better the odds are for finding a
cure," she said.
With her father's help, Ava perfected a recipe for "Ava's
Lemonade" and set up a stand in her front yard to sell it. As
friends and family members spread the word about Ava's endeavor,
sales vastly exceeded her initial expectations, and were exceeded
yet again after word spread on social media. Before long, Ava was
selling her lemonade in multiple locations, making deliveries all
over town and even in surrounding counties, and expanding her
product line to include juices made from fresh pineapples, peaches,
strawberries and raspberries. So far, her efforts have yielded more
than $2,000 for Alzheimer's research.
Ava also serves as an advocate for a personal device that alerts
caregivers to the location of their Alzheimer's patients.
State Honorees in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
Class of 2021 – the top middle level and high school volunteer from
all 50 states and the District of
Columbia – were selected for service initiatives completed,
at least in part, between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2020.
Selection was based on criteria including impact, effort,
initiative and the personal growth demonstrated over the course of
the project. Several Distinguished Finalists and runners-up were
also selected in each state, and all qualifying applicants received
President's Volunteer Service Awards.
"It speaks volumes about the character of today's secondary
school students that the Spirit of Community program heard from
more than 21,000 applicants this fall – most of them stories of
young volunteers overcoming the hardships of a global pandemic to
support those in need," said Ronn
Nozoe, Chief Executive Officer, NASSP. "While we're
especially proud to celebrate this year's 102 State Honorees, NASSP
applauds every student who's found a way to volunteer this past
year. You inspire your peers and adults alike to remember that,
even in times of crisis, we all have something to give."
To read the names and stories of all of this year's State
Honorees, visit http://spirit.prudential.com.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness
leader and premier active global investment manager, has operations
in the United States, Asia, Europe
and Latin America. Prudential's
diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by
creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential's iconic
Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and
innovation for more than a century. For more information, please
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other
school leaders across the United
States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school
leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student's
potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the
success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to
student leadership development, NASSP administers the National
Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National
Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council. Learn
more at http://nassp.org.
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SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc.