WASHINGTON DC -
Two Kentucky students have been named two of America's top 10 youth volunteers of 2014.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards named the students during the program's 19th annual national award ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Sunday. More than 30,000 youth volunteers from across the country were eligible for the nomination. 11 year-old Morgan Guess, of Paducah, and 17 year-old Kinsey Morrison, of Goshen, were two of the finalists. Each earned the title of National Honoree along with personal awards of $5,000, engraved gold medallions, crystal trophies for their schools, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charities of their choice.
Kinsey and Morgan were recognized along with the other eight volunteers at an awards ceremony on Sunday held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. They received numerous awards and a personal congratulations from Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.
Morgan, a fifth-grader at Lone Oak Intermediate School, has worked with her mom to focus local, state, and national attention on the problem of bullying through a variety of measures, after Morgan herself was bullied. She began by sharing her story on YouTube. She and her mother then started a foundation to spread awareness of the problem. They arranged for a movie on bullying to be screened in their community, co-authored an opinion piece for the Huffington Post, and led an anti-bullying march around a local mall. She was featured in two anti-bullying shows on the statewide educational television station. She also started the "Kids for Kindness" Facebook page.
"The beauty of this work is that it isn't about me," said Morgan. "It is about my story, and that story has kept the conversation alive and is bringing people together."
For more information about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year's honorees, click here or here.
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