Mia Nguyen, an eighth-grade Alderwood Middle School student, has been selected as one of two state winners of the national 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards top Middle Youth volunteer.
Nguyen made and sold more than 100 bows to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital in honor of a friend being treated for Leukemia.
“I didn’t think it was fair that a young, carefree girl had to deal with this, so I started to think about what I could do to help or just make her feel better,” Nguyen said.
After looking for ideas online, Nguyen decided to make bows. She first taught herself the correct way to make a basic bow. She then went to a fabric store and bought fabric, a glue gun, hairclips and hair ties with her own money. Once production was under way, she promoted the project to her family and friends and soon “a lot of people knew about it and they all wanted some,” she said. “I even had some guys who wanted to buy bows just to support the cause.”
Nguyen went on to raise more than $300 for the hospital.
“I would tell others that true friends are hard to find and you don’t know when they could be gone,” she said. “So treat them with kindness, love, respect and trust;”
Nguyen, 13, will receive an engraved Prudential Spirit of Community silver medallion. She’s also invited to Washington, D.C. May 3-6 where she’ll join 101 other nationwide honorees for a series of special recognition events and presentation of a $1,000 award to each winner. During the all-expense paid trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2014.
She’s also qualified for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes Americans who’ve volunteered significant amounts of time in service to their communities.
“We’re very proud of Mia, who has demonstrated an exemplary level of compassion in her volunteer work,” said Alderwood Middle School Principal Erin Murphy. “The award is well deserved and an inspiration to anyone.”
Jessie Swafford, 18, of Tacoma, is the other state winner. Six other Washington students were recognized as finalists for the award.
Now in its 19th year, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.