Serra High student receives national recognition for community service

Posted: Tuesday, February 6th 2018

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards logo

Serra High School senior Sarah Ruhe has been named a Distinguished Finalist by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Ruhe led the charge in persuading her school administration to adopt the Rachel’s Challenge anti-bullying program, and since her junior year has served as president of the “Friends of Rachel Club” that organizes acts of kindness for students and staff.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. 

Ruhe was one of 234 students nationwide recognized as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion. More than 100 students were named State Honorees, the highest honor, and nearly 500 other applicants were awarded Certificates of Excellence for their volunteer work.

Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level.

Many of this year’s State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists were recognized for their work supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of their peers. Several are serving as first responders with volunteer fire and EMT departments, and a few collected stuffed animals to comfort children in traumatic situations. A number of these top youth volunteers led large-scale campaigns to collect and distribute food for people in need, and a few raised money for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

“Prudential is proud to recognize these remarkable young people for using their energy, creativity and compassion to bring meaningful change to their communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope their stories inspire others to consider how they can do the same.”

“These middle level and high school students have not only improved the lives of the people and communities they’ve served – they also set an important example for their peers,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “These honorees prove that you’re never too young to make a difference.”

Thus far, The Spirit of Community Awards program has recognized more than 120,000 young people who’ve made a difference – and inspired countless others to consider how they might contribute to their communities.


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