Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) announced their 2017 top youth volunteers for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma Tandara, an eighth grader at Ewa Makai Middle School, was selected as the Middle Level State Honoree for Hawaii.
"Emma is a fine example of what students can achieve when they're dedicated to making a difference in their community," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "We are proud of her efforts to promote sustainability at her school and in her community, and congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition."
Emma received the award because of her efforts to promote recycling at her school by spearheading a music video project, which was presented to the Ewa Makai Middle student body and again to more than 300 educators at a City & County event called Tour de Trash. She also coordinated recycling events at three elementary schools as well as two larger community recycling drives, and demonstrated how to turn old t-shirts into bags at an emergency preparedness fair.
"I remember accompanying my grandma to a wide range of volunteer activities and seeing the joy it brought her. When she passed away I became even more committed to following in her footsteps and continuing her legacy of community service," shared Emma. "Though my grandmother couldn't stay forever, the work I've done in her spirit has become something that can."
In a letter to Emma, John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial and JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director of NASSP stated, "We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your compassionate dedication to improving the lives of others. The kind of vision and commitment you have demonstrated is extremely important to the future of our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards was created in 1995 and is the largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Honorees from each state will receive $1,000, and travel to Washington D.C. in May for a series of national recognition events and a chance to be named one of America's top 10 top youth volunteers of 2017.
For more information about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, visit http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.