A very special tip of The Forum newsboy’s cap this week to Anna Lampman of Middle Village.
The intrepid 13-year-old can teach plenty of adults what it means to be a true leader and volunteer. Anna, an 8th-grader at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy of Glendale (pictured), runs “Bedtime Bags,” through which she has donated 200 drawstring backpacks to children in need. Each bag is filled with a blanket, stuffed animal, toothbrush, toothpaste and a book. Anna’s efforts include promoting her project at her school and community churches, collecting and sorting donations, and delivering the bags to two charity organizations.
For her efforts, and as part of the 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism, Anna was selected as one of the Empire State’s top youth volunteers.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and Points of Light Global Network members, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Local honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.
Jahin Rahman, 16, of Manhattan, joined Anna as this year’s standout young volunteers from the five boroughs. A junior at Academy of American Studies, she founded “Efforts in Youth Development of Bangladesh,” an organization run by students in New York City and Dhaka, Bangladesh; her group has built a library and computer lab, established a literary program, and donated clothing to benefit children from underserved communities in Bangladesh. Through EYBD, Jahin is currently working to establish a drug rehabilitation center in the Dhaka area.
“In our 25th year of honoring young volunteers, we are as inspired as ever by the work students are doing to address the needs of a changing world,” said Charles Lowrey, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “We hope that their resolve, their initiative and their perspectives on society’s challenges move others to consider how they can make a difference, too.”
The Prudential Awards is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
“Middle level and high school students are doing remarkable things to shape the future of their communities through volunteer service. They inspire all students and schools to drive learning with real-world challenges,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “Congratulations to each of the 2020 honorees – it’s an honor to celebrate your commitment to creating positive change.”
Since the program began in 1995, more than 130,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China and Brazil. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees.