Katie Elliott Wins Prudential Spirit of Community Award | Events
Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen, Katie Elliott, 18 of Scarborough, was named Maine’s top high school youth volunteer in the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 18th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Katie, a senior at Scarborough High School, recruits fellow students to help her conduct a community collection drive each month to benefit a variety of local charitable organizations. Katie had been involved in volunteer activities for many years, but eventually “realized that I needed to do more to support my community that has given me so much,” she said. She decided the best thing to do would be to gather money and supplies for local charities “having seen firsthand how much pressure is put on the shoulders of nonprofits to support the less fortunate,” she said.
So Katie established her own charity, “The Driving Force” in November 2011. Each month, she picks one nonprofit to support, contacts its officials to determine what they need most, and then asks area teenagers to help her collect and deliver donations. Katie created a Facebook page that she uses to communicate with her volunteers, and publicizes her drives by hanging posters and stuffing mailboxes. So far, her drives have benefitted a Ronald McDonald House, the Salvation Army, the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, the Center for Grieving Children, the Animal Refuge League, the Lighthouse Shelter, Children’s Miracle Network, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. “So many people rely on all of these organizations for different reasons,” said Katie, “and these nonprofits would not be able to stay afloat without outside support.”
As the state high school honoree, Katie will receive $1000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D. C., where she will join other top honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2013. This also qualifies Katie for the President’s Volunteer Service Award which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country. Therefore, she will also receive a President’s Volunteer Service Award certificate and a letter from President, Barack Obama.
We at the Miss Maine Scholarship Program wish Katie congratulations on this prestigious award and for bestowing this great honor for her, her family, her school, her community and her state. We are all proud of her.