Delegation Congratulates North Dakota Students Named Top Volunteers

WASHINGTON - Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg today announced that Hope Reis of Bismarck and Taytum Jones of Minot have been named North Dakota’s top youth volunteers for 2012 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  

As the state honorees, Prudential will award Reis and Jones each with $1,000, an engraved medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will be recognized, along with youth volunteers from across the country, for their service to their communities. 

“Hope and Taytum have selflessly volunteered many hours to better their communities and the lives of their neighbors,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “They represent our state outstandingly, and we are proud of their dedication to service.” 

Reis, 18, is a junior at Century High School. She organized a day of downhill skiing for children with special needs. Reis applied for grants and collected donations to buy ski equipment and recruited college volunteers and the ski patrol to help the skiers. Reis, who is visually impaired, came up with the idea for “A Day on the Hill for Kids with Special Needs” while working with the local ski patrol to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award. 

Jones, 13, is an eighth-grader at Erik Ramstad Middle School. Since the third grade, she has volunteered before and after school to help students with disabilities. Jones helps students with their homework, as well as sensory activities and physical coordination skills. Additionally, she volunteers with “Dream Catchers,” an organization that teaches children with disabilities to play baseball. 

Andrew Hershey of Rugby and Nicole Rixen of Jamestown were named as Distinguished Finalists. Prudential will award the finalists with bronze medallions at local ceremonies. 

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards were created in 1995 by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Their aim is to emphasize the importance of public service and to encourage young citizens to give back to their communities.