An Apopka teenager has been named a Distinguished Finalist in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Jessica Carscadden, 15, a freshman at Apopka High School, is the founder of “We Care Bears,” a nonprofit that has provided more than 35,000 stuffed animals to first responders and organizations around the country to comfort children in traumatic situations. Jessica, who was comforted by a stuffed monkey when she was adopted at five years old, has mobilized kid volunteers as young as six to support her mission.
Carscadden was featured in The Apopka Voice back in October of 2016 for an event she organized in coordination with Wolf Lake Middle School, the Apopka Fire, and Police Departments. To read it, go here.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 23rd year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
“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.”
Since the program began in 1995, more than 120,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China, Brazil, and Poland. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees.
The NASSP is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthen school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.