Hoeven Congratulates and Meets with North Dakota Students Honored for Their Volunteer Work

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with Annabelle Barcomb of Minot and Nidhi Mahale of Fargo who were named North Dakota’s top youth volunteers for 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. As state honorees, Prudential awarded both Annabelle and Nidhi with $1,000, an engraved medallion and a trip to Washington, D.C. 

“Nidhi and Annabelle have selflessly given of their time and efforts to improve the lives of children and individuals around the world and in their local communities,” Hoeven said. “This is a wonderful recognition of their work and we are glad to celebrate Annabelle and Nidhi as they exemplify true the North Dakota spirit of helping others. They do a great job of representing our state and we are proud of their work.” 

Annabelle Barcomb 

Annabelle is an eighth-grader at Minot’s Erik Ramstad Middle School. Her school counselor put her in touch with Dream Catchers, a program that teaches children and adults with special needs to play baseball. Annabelle enjoyed working with Dream Catchers, so she signed up to coach soccer for the North Dakota Special Olympics, work which is also in honor of a cousin with a serious disability who died last year. In addition to her work with special needs individuals, Annabelle worked at a local nursing home last summer. 

Nidhi Mahale 

Nidhi is a junior at Davies High School in Fargo. Two years ago, she launched a nonprofit organization with two of her friends that has since raised more than $16,000 through donations and by making and selling tutus, capes and hair accessories for little kids. They have given most of the money they have raised to sponsor five orphans at a Mumbai orphanage and to charities that aid children in tough circumstances. Nidhi and her friends have also donated some of their products directly to a pediatric hospital for children receiving treatment.

Prudential also named Shane Anderson of Fargo and Ashlen Wright of West Fargo as Distinguished Finalists. They will be awarded 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. These awards emphasize the importance of public service and help encourage youth to give back to their communities.