Congratulations to SAS 8th Grader, Grace Kennedy who was selected as the Middle School Level Winner for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for the State of Hawaii.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country and other community groups are able to nominate a member of their community for this award. An independent judging panel selects the State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists. Grace was nominated by St. Anthony School Kailua which she has attended since preschool.
Grace has raised thousands of dollars to benefit sick and abused children as a board member of a Hawaii-based student philanthropic organization “Kidz For A Cause”. Grace was invited to a meeting of the organization “Kidz For A Cause” in 2014, and was quickly inspired to help with the group’s fundraising. “I learned that there are many kids having a really hard time growing up, “she explained. “I felt bad for the kids who are sick and abused.
Grace began by selling tickets to a benefit theater show, raising $1,000 to help buy clothes, toys and school books for abused or neglected kids at the Children’s Justice Center on Oahu. The next year, she recruited a group of friends to help her organize a celebrity chef dinner, where several of Hawaii’s most famous chefs provided a gourmet meal for 100 people. That event generated more than$6,000 to help expand a local hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Last year, Grace led fellow volunteers in staging a variety concert featuring local singers, dancer and comedians, along with a silent auction, to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House charity. “It feels great to know I helped the kids in my community!” said Grace.
Grace, along with the State high school recipient, Mahealani Sims-Tulba have each won $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense paid trip in late April to Washington D.C. for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2018.
Congratulations to Grace and thank you to Prudential Financial, Inc. for sponsoring this award that acknowledges and encourages young people to be leaders in their community.