Estefania Martinez is one of America’s most outstanding youth volunteers. The North Middle School Health Sciences and Technology Campus student is one of 102 in the nation to receive the prestigious honor through The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
The nationwide program honors young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 18th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
The 13-year-old seventh-grader has been an avid volunteer at her school and at a local mental health facility for the past two years. Martinez was inspired to get involved after seeing the Red Cross spring into action to help people during times of crisis.
"My favorite thing is to do volunteer hours," Martinez said. "People really need your time."
She started by helping kindergartners and first graders with their homework on a regular basis. Martinez then made herself available to school officials to help with events such as back-to-school nights, parent coffees and parent-teacher conferences. She says volunteering will always be a part of her life.
As a state honoree, Martinez will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, ten state honorees will be named America’s top youth volunteers for 2013.
“Prudential is proud to honor these students for making meaningful contributions to their communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope that shining a spotlight on their initiative, creativity and compassion inspires others to consider how they, too, can make a difference.”