STUDENT IS INSPIRATION OF COMMUNITY SPIRIT
Jean Sullivian, December 09, 2008
Mary Germaine, a student in the Fashion Merchandising/Design program at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) in Brick, has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for exemplary community service. Mary, who attends Toms River High School South, is involved in numerous volunteer and fundraising activities both in school and in her community. Her endeavors include volunteer time with her local church and fire company. At her high school she serves as an officer in the Key Club and participates in all of their community service activities, including Toys for Tots, Halloween costume collections for underprivileged children, and fundraisers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and ALS. She also serves as chairperson for the Highland Plaza Monthly Bingo, where her kindness as made her a favorite among the bingo regulars. “Mary has been an integral part of the Key Club for the past three years. I am impressed with their willingness to work hard, be compassionate and give of her time,” states Kathleen Hennessey, English teacher and Key Club advisor at Toms River High School South.
Mary completed the awards application with her career counselor at the OCVTS Brick Center, Karen Natale. Along with two letters of recommendation from her teachers, Mary had to complete several essay questions. She had to express the inspirations for her actions, as well as the impact her service has had on others and her own personal growth as the result of her caring and giving. She was recently notified of her recognition as a Prudential Spirit of Community Award Local Honoree.
OCVTS Principal Lynn Sauer commended Mary saying, “This award is presented to you because you took it upon yourself to give of your time and your talents. You are a great role model to other students. We are all very proud of your accomplishments and of your continued desire to help others.”
In Mary’s application she writes, “Growing up I was always getting what I wanted. But when I found out that not everyone was so lucky, I decided that I wanted to give back to the community. That was definitely my inspiration. I love to help people and I love the feeling that I get when I know I changed someone’s life with the work I did.”
The Prudential Spirit of Caring Awards program is sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This national program offers recognition of students who have demonstrated outstanding community service initiative.
All Local Honorees become candidates for State Honoree recognition which includes a monetary prize, an engraved medallion and a paid trip with a parent or guardian to a special ceremony in Washington DC in May 2009. At the ceremony “America’s Top Ten Youth Volunteers of the Year” will be selected and honored.