Hoeven Meets with North Dakota Students Named Among Nation's Top Volunteers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with two North Dakota students who have been selected as recipients of the 24th Annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. 

Olivia Allen of Reiles Acres and Ishika Gupta of Fargo were chosen as the state’s top youth volunteers for 2019. As state honorees, they were both awarded a $1,000 award, an engraved silver medallion and a trip to Washington, D.C. with the opportunity to join other honorees from across the country. 

“One of the most valued items you can donate is your time,” said Hoeven. “Ishika and Olivia are generously doing that to benefit those in their communities and all of North Dakota. This is wonderful recognition of their work as young leaders, and we’re proud to have them representing our state.” 

Olivia, 11, is a sixth grader at Cheney Middle School. A volunteer with Project Linus, she has organized blanket-making events. Through this, she has donated more than 300 fleece security blankets for hospitalized or traumatized children in need of comfort. With the extra scraps of fleece, she has also been able to make over 50 dog toys to donate. 

Ishika, 17, is a senior at Davies High School. She created “Cradle Me Care,” a nonprofit to purchase bassinets and distribute them to organizations that help parents in need across two states and three tribal communities. She is also an active volunteer at the American Indian Resource Center where she monitors and analyzes policy that affects the health of Native Americans. 

Prudential also named Astrid Axtman of Fargo and Sydney Helgeson of Bismarck as Distinguished Finalists. They will be awarded bronze medallions at local ceremonies. 

Representing the United States’ largest youth recognition program, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are based solely on volunteer service. Since 1995 when the program began, they have honored more than 125,000 young volunteers at local, state and national levels.


North Dakota Prudential Spirit of Community Award Winners