The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program that honors youth volunteers, has awarded two Colorado students for their acts of community service.

Created by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), this program recognizes our nation's youth volunteers in middle and high school, rewarding them for "outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level." The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards has been honoring young students since 1995. Two honorees are selected from each state and the District of Columbia -- one middle school student and one high school student. Each volunteer is rewarded with $1,000, a silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. They will then have the opportunity to tour our nation's capital, meet other top youth volunteers from across the nation as well various countries, get to meet their congressional representatives, and attend a gala ceremony at the Smithsonian in their honor. [caption id="attachment_33320" align="aligncenter" width="500"]youth volunteers Courtesy of Prudential Spirit of Community Awards (Facebook)[/caption] Ten students will then be named America's Top Youth Volunteers of 2018 on April 30, five from each level. Each student will receive an additional $5,000, gold medallions, trophies, and $5,000 will be donated to a nonprofit organization of their choice.

Colorado's Honorees:

Savannah Rock (Aurora) and Addison Kleinhans (Broomfield) have been named Colorado's honorees. Savannah is a senior at Grandview High School, while Addison is an eighth-grader at Colorado Digital Academy. Savannah's "Project Unify" is a program that focuses on inclusion and celebrates students' differences in an attempt to bring those with and without disabilities together. Some activities included concerts, parties, sports events, camping, and spirit weeks. She has also been chosen to be a youth leadership ambassador for the Special USA Olympic Games. Addison, a leukemia survivor after being diagnosed at age six, has given more than 130 speeches in order to raise money for childhood cancer research, using his personal experience to motivate and remind people to "stay positive in the face of adversity." He was named Boy of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after raising tens of thousands of dollars for the cause. There are also four young volunteers who have been recognized as Distinguished Finalists. Each will receive a bronze medallion.

Colorado's Distinguished Finalists:

Jonathan Ferry, Littleton Matine Khalighi, Denver Leslie Miller, Arvada Andres Pulido, Lone Tree Let's give a hand for these young students as they continue to improve the lives of those around them and in their community! It just goes to show that you're never too young to make an impact. What do you think? Are there inspiring young students in your life? Also, how do YOU volunteer in your community? Let us know in the comments below, and let's get the conversation started.

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