- Seneca Valley School District
SV student named Top Youth Volunteer
Corbin Edge, an eighth grader at Ryan Gloyer Middle School (RGMS), was named one of Pennsylvania's top two youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
As a State Honoree, Corbin will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where he will join honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2019.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 24th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Pennsylvania Top Youth Volunteer of 2019:
Middle Level State Honoree: Corbin Edge
Nominated by RGMS
Corbin, 15, raised more than $10,000 for diabetes patients and research last September by assembling and raffling off 75 gift baskets at Evans City Borough’s Oktoberfest celebration. Corbin has been living with Type 1 diabetes since he was 18 months old. "Being so young, I didn't realize what was going on or how things were going to change for me," said Corbin. "I learned as I got older how it has affected my life, and I didn't want other children to have to go through what I have." After attending a camp for young diabetics, Corbin was inspired to raise money for the cause. He started out small, forming a team for a diabetes walk and just asking family and friends for donations. "That was successful for a while," he said, "but I wanted to go bigger!"
After attending an event at his school and seeing how eager people were to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a gift basket, Corbin decided to organize an "American Diabetes Basket Raffle" in his community. He drafted a letter about himself and his struggles with diabetes and took it to local businesses to solicit donations. The response was "overwhelming," he said. Once he had collected or purchased items for his raffle, his family helped him organize them into 75 themed baskets. He set up tables to display the baskets and sell tickets, and two days later, he announced the winners, distributed the baskets, and counted his proceeds. "I had set the goal at $10,000," said Corbin, "and when I reached that number, I screamed in excitement!" The money will be used to send young diabetics to a diabetes camp, and to pay for research into a cure, which is what Corbin wants most. "A life of no more shots or finger pricks," he said hopefully.
About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light's HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. These Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.
While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia – will tour the capital's landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from other parts of the world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. On May 6, 10 of the State Honorees – five middle level and five high school students – will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2019. These National Honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.
Since the program began in 1995, more than 125,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China and Brazil. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President's Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees.