MMS Comet Named Ohio's Top Volunteer

MMS Comet Named Ohio's Top Volunteer: MMS 7th Grader Also Recognized for Community Service
Posted on 04/01/2019

MMS Comet Named Ohio's Top Volunteer: MMS 8th Grader Also Recognized for Community ServiceTwo Mason Middle School students are being recognized for their commitment to serving others.

MMS eighth grader Tanya Keskar was selected as Ohio's top Middle Level youth volunteer in the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. As a State Honoree,  Keskar will receive a $1,000 award, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C., for a series of national recognition events from May 4-7, 2019. During the trip, 10 students will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2019.

Keskar built a website to raise awareness of the poverty she had witnessed in the slums of India, and hosted an event that brought in $1,000 to cover a full year of education expenses for 40 Indian children. Before Keskar visited several slums on a family trip to India, she had no idea that some people lived in such poverty.

"The people were living without proper schools, roads, houses, food, electricity and opportunity," she said. "It was so sad. I realized that I had all the resources I needed to make a difference. I knew I had to help them."

Upon returning home, Keskar founded a nonprofit organization called "Realize to Act," and created a website describing her experience in India with words, photos and videos. Afterward, she decided to host a "giving event" to further increase awareness of poverty in India, and to raise money for the education of children there. Proceeds from the event were donated to an organization that works to educate Indian children in need and break the cycle of poverty.

MMS seventh grader Rishika Jeyaprakash was named a Distinguished Finalist and will receive an engraved bronze medallion.   

Jeyaprakash created and leads "Little Helpers," a volunteer team of more than 450 youth volunteers who work together on different volunteer opportunities each month, from collecting more than 1,200 toys for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to visiting residents at retirement homes and creating thank-you cards for local police officers. 

Jeyaprakash's passion and empathy is contagious. She shares, "Kindness starts with one contagious smile. This team has impacted over 5000 people through services. We have done over 43 service projects; in total we have donated $5,272 dollars, more than 1200 news toys to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and thousands of smiles. We have created smiles starting from a child in a foster care to an elder at a retirement home. We have packed food for orphans around the world, volunteered at local organizations that help the poor, donated hair to kids affected by cancer, supplied essentials to victims of natural disasters, made blankets to wrap the world in kindness and so on. We learned though, that you don’t always have to think big on who to help. We enjoy doing many kind activities, big or small."

Jeyaprakash is currently in the process of establishing the organization as a nonprofit. 

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the country's largest youth recognition program, based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential, in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, to honor middle school and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.

Jeyaprakash created and leads "Little Helpers," a volunteer team of more than 450 youth volunteers who work together on different volunteer opportunities each month, from collecting more than 1,200 toys for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to visiting residents at retirement homes and creating thank-you cards for local police officers. 

 Jeyaprakash's passion and empathy is contagious. She shares, "Kindness starts with one contagious smile. This team has impacted over 5000 people through services. We have done over 43 service projects; in total we have donated $5,272 dollars, more than 1200 news toys to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and thousands of smiles. We have created smiles starting from a child in a foster care to an elder at a retirement home. We have packed food for orphans around the world, volunteered at local organizations that help the poor, donated hair to kids affected by cancer, supplied essentials to victims of natural disasters, made blankets to wrap the world in kindness and so on. We learned though, that you don’t always have to think big on who to help. We enjoy doing many kind activities, big or small."

Jeyaprakash is currently in the process of establishing the organization as a nonprofit.

Jeyaprakash created and leads "Little Helpers," a volunteer team of more than 450 youth volunteers who work together on different volunteer opportunities each month, from collecting more than 1,200 toys for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to visiting residents at retirement homes and creating thank-you cards for local police officers. 

 Jeyaprakash's passion and empathy is contagious. She shares, "Kindness starts with one contagious smile. This team has impacted over 5000 people through services. We have done over 43 service projects; in total we have donated $5,272 dollars, more than 1200 news toys to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and thousands of smiles. We have created smiles starting from a child in a foster care to an elder at a retirement home. We have packed food for orphans around the world, volunteered at local organizations that help the poor, donated hair to kids affected by cancer, supplied essentials to victims of natural disasters, made blankets to wrap the world in kindness and so on. We learned though, that you don’t always have to think big on who to help. We enjoy doing many kind activities, big or small."

Jeyaprakash is currently in the process of establishing the organization as a nonprofit.

Jeyaprakash created and leads "Little Helpers," a volunteer team of more than 450 youth volunteers who work together on different volunteer opportunities each month, from collecting more than 1,200 toys for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to visiting residents at retirement homes and creating thank-you cards for local police officers. 

 Jeyaprakash's passion and empathy is contagious. She shares, "Kindness starts with one contagious smile. This team has impacted over 5000 people through services. We have done over 43 service projects; in total we have donated $5,272 dollars, more than 1200 news toys to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and thousands of smiles. We have created smiles starting from a child in a foster care to an elder at a retirement home. We have packed food for orphans around the world, volunteered at local organizations that help the poor, donated hair to kids affected by cancer, supplied essentials to victims of natural disasters, made blankets to wrap the world in kindness and so on. We learned though, that you don’t always have to think big on who to help. We enjoy doing many kind activities, big or small."

Jeyaprakash is currently in the process of establishing the organization as a nonprofit.

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