A senior has been named a Distinguished Finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, the school announced recently.
The national award, handed out by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is given to young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism in their communities.
LT senior Kaley Shannon was one of 234 students to be named a distinguished finalist this year. A total of 5,000 volunteers were reviewed by a judging panel, which recommended state honorees and distinguished finalists.
Principal David Franson presented Shannon with an engraved bronze medallion at the District 204 school board meeting in August.
Shannon began her volunteer service in 2004 at the age of 10 when she helped to organize a fundraiser to give aide to tsunami victims in India. In only one day of selling hot chocolate and apple cider, she managed to raise more than $1,300 for relief efforts.
As a freshmen student at LT, Shannon began a nationwide organization called Students' Hearts for Haiti. The organization was created to build schools for victims of the 2009 earthquake in Haiti. It began with Shannon baking 2,000 cookies with her youth group, selling t-shirts and wristbands at LT and also at colleges around the country. In nine months, her organization had raised $100,000, which was used to build four schools in Haiti, functioning water wells, four medical clinics and alternate income for all the women of four communities.
Most recently, Shannon has started a new organization called, The Roessler Project. Shannon began the project as a way to raise financial support for her English teacher, whose 16-month-old daughter was in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit, fighting an unknown virus. The goal of the project is to get all the medical bills of the family covered.
“Giving back is the most important thing we can do as human beings," Shannon said she believes. "If we did not, there would be no joy in the world. Our generation has the potential to drastically change the world for the better and the best time to start, is always now!”
- Information in this article was supplied by Lyons Township High School.