Youth Volunteer praised by former first lady

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Former First Lady Laura Bush recently congratulated Shawn Hawkins, 19, of Branson, and Nimo Sahil, 16, of Kansas City, on being named the top two youth volunteers in Missouri for 2009 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Shawn and Nimo were honored at a ceremony May 3 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where they each received a $1,000 award.

Bush addressed more than 100 top youth volunteers from across the country at the ceremony, telling them how important their volunteer work is and commending them on their commitment to making a difference in the world.

“The young people receiving these awards genuinely care about making a difference in the lives of others and have accomplished so much — in their own communities and around the world,” Bush said. “I thank and congratulate them for their outstanding volunteer work. Students with this kind of commitment and leadership ability are essential to the future of our nation.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community awards constitute the nation’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. The program, created in 1995 by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, has honored nearly 90,000 young Americans over the past 14 years at the local, state and national level for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

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