Local teens named state’s top young volunteers

March 24, 2013 

Two local young people were honored as the state’s top youth volunteers with the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Emma Astrike-Davis, 16, of Durham and Madison Bechtel, 14, of Wake Forest were the state honorees for 2013.

Emma, nominated by her school, Cary Academy, was the state’s high school honoree for founding Art for Hospice, a program that recruits students to create artwork to decorate the rooms of patients in hospice centers, nursing homes and VA hospitals. In the program’s five-year history, more than a thousand pieces of art of have been donated.

Madison, an eighth-grader at Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School, was the middle school level honoree for her leadership in her school’s annual dance marathon to benefit N.C. Children’s Hospital and Duke Children’s Hospital. She has also worked with her school’s Social Organization and Service Club to host an annual fair for wounded troops, and on her own she is creating a helpline and resource center for abused teens.

Emma and Madison will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and a trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from other states for four days of recognition and special events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers for 2013.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards also named distinguished finalists in each state. From our area, the distinguished finalists were Katherine Hicks, 18, and Courtney Pisano, 16, both from Raleigh.

Katherine, a senior at Broughton High School, raised more than $11,000 for the American Red Cross at her “Fling Into Spring” event. Courtney, a junior at Enloe High School, has raised more than $5,000 through her charitable organization, Children’s Lasting Power, and donated the funds to support children in foster care through two local organizations.

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