Two Students Win Top Awards for Volunteer Service

February 18, 2005
Two Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students have been named Maryland's top two youth volunteers for 2005 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Megan Reamer, a Poolesville High School student, and Shannon Sullivan, a Newport Mill Middle School student, each will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an invitation to the program's national recognition events in early May in Washington, D.C. They will join the top two honorees¯one middle school and one high school student¯from each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Ten of the students will be named America's top youth volunteers for 2005.

Reamer, a Poolesville High School senior, won a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society and recruited volunteers to remove invasive plants that were crowding out native vegetation in a local park and to plant trees in their place. She and her fellow volunteers made three trips to Victory Farm Park in Gaithersburg to remove truckloads of invasive plants and to plant tree saplings along a stream. She also created a brochure and display board about invasive plants and educated younger Girl Scouts about the problem.

Sullivan, an eighth grader at Newport Mill Middle School, started a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $1,000 to help fund the education of 15 girls in the African country of Mali. Through the project “School Girls Unite,” Sullivan and her fellow volunteers sold pens, pencils, and other supplies at supermarkets, cafes, ice cream stores, and local schools. They also worked with the Mali Embassy and the Peace Corps and have encouraged the American Association of University Women to help with fundraising.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, now in its 10th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. More than 20,000 high school and middle school students submitted applications for this year's program.

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