Minnetonka Public Schools is proud to announce the District's 2020-21 Prudential Spirit of Community award winners and runners up. Created in 1995, the Prudential Spirit of Community awards program is the country's largest student recognition program that honors volunteer community service.
Ava Chen, Josie Frandrup, Katherine Lew and Sarah Erickson have been named winners for Minnetonka Public Schools, earning certificates of achievement. They will move forward to represent Minnetonka at the state-level competition. Virginia Morrow and Phoebe Hanson have been named runners up, earning certificates of merit.
Prudential Spirit of Community award recipients are nominated from the group of middle school and high school students who were awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in the fall. The selection process is very competitive, and many nominees have held volunteer leadership roles for many years. Congratulations to our winners and runners up for your hard work and outstanding achievements. Thank you for making our community a better place by serving the greater good!
Award winners and runners up will be recognized on Thursday, January 7 as part of the virtual School Board Recognitions Program. Tune in to the School Board Meeting livestream at 6:25 p.m. to celebrate and learn more about the Prudential Spirit of Community award recipients.
Certificate of Achievement
Ava Chen, Minnetonka High School
Motivated by the desire to promote inclusivity and support for students in her community, Ava serves as the Communication Chair on the myHealth Teen Clinic Youth Advisory Board. She also acts as a peer tutor in the Academic Anchor program at Minnetonka High School. This summer Ava created a virtual debate camp for students in the Minnetonka community. Through these endeavors she has enjoyed engaging in projects that help her peers.
Josie Frandrup, Minnetonka High School
Josie has been a writer her whole life. In ninth grade, she participated in a volunteer project writing letters to senior citizens. She was inspired to create a club at Minnetonka High School that focuses on this valuable outreach. Minnetonka Mail has more than 20 members who exchange letters multiple times a month with residents in local senior communities. Josie feels this is an important way to show compassion and empathy for others. She and her fellow club members have developed connections with seniors that they will cherish throughout their lives.
Katherine Lew, Minnetonka High School
Katherine has been a dedicated leader of the Unified Club at Minnetonka High School for the past two years. Unified Club enables students both with and without disabilities to participate in sports and other activities together. Additionally, Katherine serves on the Student Board of Directors for Special Olympics Minnesota. Motivated by her work with the Unified Club, Katherine has also become a Personal Care Assistant for people with disabilities.
Sarah Erickson, Minnetonka Middle School West
Sarah is an active member of Minnetonka Middle School West's Service Club. Her work with the club has inspired her to give back to the community in multiple ways. She has raised money to buy books for Bruce Vento Elementary, supported wildfire relief efforts in Australia, sang at nursing homes, volunteered at the Animal Humane Society and spent nearly 70 hours making masks during the pandemic. Through her acts of service, Sarah has recognized how giving back has benefitted both those she served and herself.
Certificate of Merit
Virginia Morrow, Minnetonka High School
Virginia has volunteered nearly 500 hours this year. Her volunteer work focused on the civic realm, where she worked on political campaigns, encouraged people to engage with their government and exercise their right to vote. Through her work, Virginia recognized the importance of getting people involved in local, state and national government.
Phoebe Hanson, Minnetonka High School
Phoebe volunteered 313 hours this year. She engaged in several volunteer activities at Minnetonka High School, including acting as a leader of the Haiti Outreach Club. Phoebe's work strengthened her passion for building awareness of global issues and helped illuminate how impactful a group's work can be on projects thousands of miles away from Minnetonka.