Distinguished Finalist Honor Bestowed on QC Youth Volunteers Print
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:50

A school fitness and nutrition program.  A campaign to make personal care kits for families in transition out of homeless shelters.  25 handmade quilts to be sent to Ethiopian women recovering from surgery.  Packaging over 25,000 meals to feed needy children.  What do these things have in common?  They are all initiatives organized by Iowa students!

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have named Kayla De Weerd, 14, of Hull, IA and Hannah Jorgensen, 13, of Adair, IA as State Honorees for outstanding acts of volunteerism.  Kayla, who piloted a nutrition and physical activity program at her school, and Hannah, who organized a campaign to make personal care kits for families transitioning from homeless shelters, will each receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.  In Washington, Kayla and Hannah will join the top two honorees from each state, ten of which will be named National Honorees.

The Quad Cities is home to two Distinguished Finalists in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!  Pavane Gorrepati, a senior at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, and Julianne Delessio, a junior at Pleasant Valley High School, are among four students recognized as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities.

Pavane Gorrepati, 18, of Davenport, created a nonprofit organization called Warning about Warming (WaW) to educate young people about environmental issues.  Her work has included speaking at rallies and conferences, traveling to India to teach students about sustainable practices, and persuading the Rivermont Collegiate Board of Trustees to initiate a “no-idling” policy for parents dropping off and picking up students.

Julianne Delessio, 17, of Bettendorf, brings the joy of dance to those who otherwise could not participate due to illness, disability, or financial restraints with her program Dance for Me.  Julianne has provided workshops for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, children with cancer, and children from low-income families.  She is currently developing a dance workshop for children with Down syndrome.

The Quad Cities is extremely proud to be home to these outstanding young women!  “Through their selfless acts of service, these award recipients have greatly improved the lives of others,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld.  “We hope their stories and their dedication inspire other young people to do the same.”  The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.  More than 5,000 Local Honorees were reviewed by a judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on personal initiative, creativity, effort, and impact.

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Brittany Marietta, Director of Admission, at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For additional information on The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, visit www.spirit.prudential.com

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