Rockford youth honored for volunteerism at national award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER—Former First Lady Laura Bush congratulates Courtney Fedeson (far right), of Belmont.

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER—Former First Lady Laura Bush congratulates Courtney Fedeson (far right), of Belmont.

Rockford student Courtney Fedeson, 13, of Belmont was honored in the nation’s capital for her outstanding volunteer work during the presentation of The 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Fedeson-along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country-received a $1,000 award as well as personal congratulations from former First Lady Laura Bush at the 14th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception. It was held at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

Courtney, a seventh grader at North Rockford Middle School, was named the top middle school level youth volunteer in Michigan last February. It addition to the cash award, she received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with her parents to Washington, D.C., for the recognition events.

“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,” said Mrs. Bush, who delivered the keynote address at last night’s ceremony. “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.”

Courtney is an inspiring example of young Americans who care deeply about the needs of others and who have taken the initiative to help meet those needs,” said John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “By honoring them, we hope not only to give them the recognition they so richly deserve, but also to inspire others to follow their example.”

Nearly 20,000 young people submitted applications for the 2009 awards program last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the Points of Light Institute’s HandsOn Network. The top middle level and high school applicants in each state were selected in February, and were flown to Washington the week of May 4 with their parents for four days of special recognition events.

Rockford student Courtney Fedeson, 13, of Belmont was honored in the nation’s capital for her outstanding volunteer work during the presentation of The 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Fedeson-along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country-received a $1,000 award as well as personal congratulations from former First Lady Laura Bush at the 14th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception. It was held at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

Courtney, a seventh grader at North Rockford Middle School, was named the top middle school level youth volunteer in Michigan last February. It addition to the cash award, she received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with her parents to Washington, D.C., for the recognition events.

“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,” said Mrs. Bush, who delivered the keynote address at last night’s ceremony. “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.”

Courtney is an inspiring example of young Americans who care deeply about the needs of others and who have taken the initiative to help meet those needs,” said John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “By honoring them, we hope not only to give them the recognition they so richly deserve, but also to inspire others to follow their example.”

Nearly 20,000 young people submitted applications for the 2009 awards program last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the Points of Light Institute’s HandsOn Network. The top middle level and high school applicants in each state were selected in February, and were flown to Washington the week of May 4 with their parents for four days of special recognition events.

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