Wisconsin's Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 18th Annual National Awards Program

  Wisconsin's Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 18th Annual National Awards

Weston and Waukesha students earn $1,000 awards, engraved medallions and trip
                             to nation’s capital

  Honors also bestowed on youth volunteers in De Pere, Beaver Dam, Elkhorn,
                   Bristol, Menomonee Falls and River Falls

Business Wire

MADISON, Wis. -- February 5, 2013

Peyton Medick, 14, of Weston and Colleen DeLisle, 13, of Waukesha today were
named Wisconsin's top two youth volunteers of 2013 by The Prudential Spirit of
Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding
acts of volunteerism. Peyton was nominated by Idea Charter School/D.C. Everest
Junior High in Weston, and Colleen was nominated by Kettle Moraine School
District in Dousman. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its
18th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Peyton, a freshman at Idea Charter School/D.C. Everest Junior High, created a
large food distribution network that has provided more than 80 tons of food
and $30,000 in monetary donations for food pantries in central Wisconsin and
across the country. In 2007, Peyton met a young boy who was homeless and
starving. That chance encounter, along with a television show she saw about
hunger in her community, left an indelible mark on her. “I believe eating is a
basic human right,” Peyton said. “So many of us have plenty to eat. If
everyone with enough to eat gives a little, we can solve this problem.” So
Peyton asked her principal if she could conduct a food drive at school for a
local pantry.

It didn’t stop there. She began speaking to hundreds of students at a time
about the problem of hunger in their community. Through schools, churches and
clubs, she recruited volunteers. She contacted grocery store managers for
donations, persuaded churches and businesses to host drop boxes, and obtained
support from several national organizations. In addition to food drives,
Peyton’s initiative, called “Peyton’s Promise,” provides holiday meals to
families in need by selling T-shirts and giving grocery store shoppers lists
of items needed to prepare holiday food boxes. Peyton’s program has trained
more than 25 student “advocates” in two states, who have taught thousands of
others how to run food drives in their own communities. Peyton estimates that
more than 5,000 families currently benefit each month from the many activities
of “Peyton’s Promise.”

Colleen, a seventh-grader at Kettle Moraine Middle School, organized a
volunteer club at her school that has engaged more than 100 fellow students in
a variety of community service projects. Since she was a little girl, Colleen
has volunteered in her community, whether it was serving meals to the needy or
reading to toddlers. But she wanted to do more for her community and at the
same time involve her friends. “There wasn’t a way to do that,” Colleen said.
So her mother suggested that she start her own group at school to do service

After speaking with a cousin who was in high school, Colleen learned about
Interact, a service-based student group sponsored by Rotary International. She
researched the club online, downloaded organization packets, contacted the
local Rotary club about starting a chapter, found a teacher to be the club’s
advisor and obtained her principal’s permission. The club’s dozen members now
meet monthly to discuss issues in the community and the world and then
advertise their projects through posters, announcements and videos to get
other students involved. So far, they have organized a day at school to call
attention to the plight of Africa’s child soldiers, supported U.S. service
members through the “Got Your 6” campaign, raised money for education and
medical needs, and made Christmas cards for the residents of a local senior

As State Honorees, Peyton and Colleen each will receive $1,000, an engraved
silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington,
D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from each of the other states
and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events.
During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of

                           Distinguished Finalists

The program judges also recognized six other Wisconsin students as
Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities.
Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

These are Wisconsin's Distinguished Finalists for 2013:

Paige Bani, 18, of De Pere, Wis., a senior at West De Pere High School, has
raised more than $5,500 by holding a Tourette’s syndrome awareness 5K through
the program she created, “Connor’s Cause.” Paige, who started the organization
to help educate others about Tourette’s syndrome after her brother was
diagnosed with it, has traveled across the state giving presentations to help
students and teachers better understand the condition.

Anna Boschert, 18, of Beaver Dam, Wis., a senior at Beaver Dam High School,
has teamed up with a classmate to raise $160,000 toward the construction of a
new environmental science classroom with a lab and greenhouse through the
project “Generating a Greener Future.” Anna has conducted public presentations
to spread the word and organized a number of fundraisers including pizza
sales, brick and tile sales, coupon books and a letter campaign to secure

Quentin Cauffman, 19, of Elkhorn, Wis., a member of the Walworth County 4-H
and a senior at Elkhorn Area High School, is a volunteer camp counselor for
third- through fifth-grade boys at the 4-H camp. Quentin also has participated
in food drives, recycling and highway clean-up projects, and runs classes for
young people on art, robotics and sports.

Trevor Foster, 17, of Bristol, Wis., a junior at Central High, founded
Wisconsin’s first high school chapter of Habitat for Humanity in 2011 and has
since encouraged 50 students to join the organization. Trevor, who has helped
to raise more than $5,000 to support the cause, has since joined forces with a
local Habitat affiliate and will soon begin building homes within the

Julie Schweiss, 19, of Menomonee Falls, Wis., a senior at Menomonee Falls High
School, helped raise nearly $20,000 by co-chairing her school’s team for an
American Cancer Society Relay for Life charity walk. Julie, who had
volunteered for the Relay for Life in the past, planned and led committee
meetings, recruited, helped assemble teams, and played a major role in various
fundraisers including a rummage sale, car wash and bake sale.

Trevor Stokes, 18, of River Falls, Wis., a senior at River Falls High School,
founded “HomeFront,” an organization that rallies young volunteers to provide
assistance to elderly veterans and veterans with disabilities in the local
area. Trevor, whose grandfather is a Korean War veteran, has organized his
volunteers to provide year-round assistance with basic tasks including
errands, moving furniture, hooking up electronics, raking leaves, putting up
and taking down holiday decorations and just being a friend.

“Prudential is proud to honor these students for making meaningful
contributions to their communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John
Strangfeld. “We hope that shining a spotlight on their initiative, creativity
and compassion inspires others to consider how they, too, can make a

“Through their volunteer service, each of these young people has made his or
her mark on at least one person, school or community,” said JoAnn Bartoletti,
executive director of NASSP. “When you consider the collective impact of each
of these individual acts, it’s clear that young people can be a major force
for good.”

               About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

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 HandsOn Network affiliates, were eligible to select a
student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Nearly
5,000 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.

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and one
high school student from each state and the District of Columbia – will tour
the capital’s landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from other parts of the
world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of
Natural History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol
Hill. On May 6, 10 of the State Honorees – five middle level and five high
school students – will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2013. These
National Honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions,
crystal trophies and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for
nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 100,000 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 and India.
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 on behalf of President Barack Obama.

For information on all of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community State
Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit http://spirit.prudential.com or

                                 About NASSP

NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) is the leading
organization of and national voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the
United States and more than 36 countries around the world. The association
provides research-based professional development and resources, networking,
and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to
continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding
commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the
National Honor Society™, National Junior Honor Society®, National Elementary
Honor Society®, and National Association of Student Councils®. For more
information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

                          About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has
operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s
diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and
institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of
products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related
services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s
iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation
for more than a century. For more information, please visit

Editors: For full-color pictures of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
program logo and medallions, click here: http://bit.ly/Xi4oFW


Prudential Financial
Harold Banks, 973-802-8974 or 973-216-4833
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