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PRES student wins community service award


Polo Road Elementary School fifth-grader, Harmonie Frederick was named one of America's top 10 youth volunteers of 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The program's 22nd annual national award ceremony was held Monday, May 8 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Selected from a field of more than 31,000 youth volunteers from across the country, Frederick earned the title of National Honoree, along with a personal award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for her school and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a nonprofit charitable organization of her choice.

In February, Frederick was one of two students in South Carolina named top youth volunteers. She, along with 100 other top volunteers from the country – received a $1,000 award as well as personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

Frederick’s volunteer activities include selling lemonade to raise money and awareness to fight cancer, conducting a coat drive to keep those less fortunate warm in the winter, and volunteering at a local nursing home. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and her father (now deceased) was diagnosed with leukemia, Frederick sold lemonade at her church to support cancer research. She also recruited friends to help at a breast cancer fundraising basketball game and recognize survivors with pink roses.

When Frederick noticed that a friend came to school with no coat on a winter day to protect him from the cold and rain, she initiated a coat drive through her church and ended up with more than 800 garments for both children and adults. At a local nursing home, Frederick plays the piano for the residents, calls out bingo numbers, serves ice cream and polishes fingernails.

“If you see a person in need, anyone can help," said Harmonie Frederick. "You don't need to give money, but you can help by doing small gestures to show that you care about them. I feel great when I can make someone happy."

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a national youth recognition program sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.