Adom, a freshman at Spartanburg Day School, has raised more than $50,000 for 16 nonprofit organizations in his community by organizing celebrity basketball games and donation drives through "Ball4Good," a charity he started in 2016. Two years ago, Adom's history teacher challenged his class to research a community need and then work independently to seek a solution. A varsity soccer player and junior varsity basketball player, Adom is passionate about sports, so not surprisingly, he thought about an athletics-oriented service project. "I felt helping my community through sports was important because sports is a unifier," he said.
Adom consulted with his teacher and family on his idea for a charity that would collect donations for community causes. He then picked a name, created a website and established a social media presence. He used donations received on his 13th birthday as seed money for his first celebrity basketball game in 2017, which drew 800 spectators and benefited a Boys and Girls Club. A second game followed the next year that benefited an advocacy center that combats child abuse, and raised additional funds for other community causes. The next game, he said, is set to benefit causes including support for children with autism and after-school robotics programming. Adom also worked with school sports teams to collect toiletries, clothing accessories, toys and gift cards for the homeless and winter hats for cancer patients, and held a Christmastime sports equipment drive for kids in his community. He has also written two books to inspire students to change the world and bounce back from failures; donations from book sales have supported several charitable causes.
Jazmine, a seventh-grader at Riverwalk Academy, helps provide clothing and school supplies to children living in poverty in the Dominican Republic by selling bracelets that she makes, as well as traditional rings made by Dominican artisans. "I've always had a heart for others," Jazmine said. "My mother tells me that when I was only 2 years old, on Christmas day I saw all of the gifts under the tree and grabbed the smallest gift for me and left the others for my cousins." A native of the Dominican Republic, Jazmine has visited her birth country with her mother and seen how many people there lack basic necessities. This made her determined to be part of the solution.
Two years ago, she began making bracelets to sell for a charity in the nation's capital of Santo Domingo that supports more than 600 children each year. Later, during a trip there, she was impressed with traditional rings made by local artisans, so she decided to sell those, too, to support both the charity and the local economy. Through her project, Jazmine has contributed uniforms, shoes, school supplies, clothing and cash to help more than 200 children. "I hope my initiative brings them joy," she said. "My hope is to continue and expand the collection of basic items and keep sending them for many more years." Jazmine's other community service efforts have included providing information about underage drinking at community health fairs, volunteering for an organization that promotes cultural identity and bilingual education, and performing as a folkloric dancer to introduce her culture to others.
"We're impressed and inspired by the way these honorees have identified problems facing their communities and stepped up to the challenge to make a difference," said Charles Lowrey, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. "It's a privilege to celebrate their leadership and compassion, and we look forward to seeing the great things they accomplish in the future."
"These students have not only done important work in support of people in need – they've also shown their peers that young people can, and do, create meaningful change," said Christine Handy, president of NASSP. "We commend each of these young volunteers for all they've contributed to their communities."
Youth volunteers in grades 5-12 were invited to apply for 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light's HandsOn Network. More than 29,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year's program.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 to identify and recognize young people for outstanding volunteer service – and, in so doing, inspire others to volunteer, too. In the past 24 years, the program has honored more than 125,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.
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 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 www.news.prudential.com.
Editors: For pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards program logo and medallions, visit >https://spirit.prudential.com/resources/media.
B-roll of South Carolina's honorees at the 2019 national recognition events, contact Prudential's Harold Banks at (973) 216-4833 or >firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc.
Source : https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/two-south-carolina-youth-honored-for-volunteerism-at-national-award-ceremony-in-washington-dc-300844119.html