Two students named Sibley's Top Youth Volunteers
Two students named Henry Sibley's Top Youth Volunteers of the Year
Posted on 12/01/2017
Prudential Scholar Photo
From left, Quan Dang, Principal Ron Monson and Katherine Atkins.

Henry Sibley High School named senior Katherine Atkins of Saint Paul and sophomore Quan Dang of West Saint Paul as its top youth volunteers of the year.

The honor was granted as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide youth volunteer recognition program sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

By selecting Atkins and Dang as its top youth volunteers, Henry Sibley has advanced their applications for state-level judging in the 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Prudential will announce Minnesota’s top youth volunteers of the year on February 6, 2018.

Both Atkins and Dang have devoted time to improving their local community through their service.

This summer, Dang volunteered with West Saint Paul Parks and Recreation where he assisted with children’s programming and park cleanup. Dang is an active member of Henry Sibley’s LIVEGREEN Club, a student group devoted to energy saving, recycling and other green initiatives, and he saw park cleanup as an essential part of providing a healthy environment in which students could play. 

For the past four years, Atkins’ love of animals has led her to spend each summer volunteering for the Minnesota Zoo as first a Zoo Teen and now a Farm Volunteer. Her duties as a Farm Volunteer consist of: assisting farm staff, cleaning up after animals, handling crowd control and providing information to patrons about the animals and zoo. Atkins’ volunteering continues to inspire her passion of working with animals, along with her plan to attend veterinary school.

These two honorees have found creative ways to pursue their interests and talents while serving others, which is vital for a thriving community. 

“We are pleased to honor Quan and Katherine with Prudential Spirit of Community Awards this year,” said Henry Sibley Principal Ron Munson. “We are very proud of their hard work and the example they set for their classmates as civic-minded, engaged and involved student leaders.”

As local honorees, Dang and Atkins are now in the running to be named Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees for Minnesota. State honorees receive a $1,000 award and an all-expense paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington D.C., for several days of recognition events. Other state-level honorees will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.

During the national recognition events in Washington, America’s top 10 youth volunteers of the year will be named by a distinguished selection committee. Each of these national honorees will receive an additional $5,000, a crystal trophy for their school or organization, and a $5,000 Prudential Foundation grant for a nonprofit or charitable organization of their choice. 

“Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We salute their dedication, their achievements and their spirit of community.” 

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through community volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents America’s largest youth recognition program has honored more than 120,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level. Learn more at spirit.prudential.com or nassp.org/spirit.