Chester High School junior Melissa Crosby was named a Top Youth Volunteer of the Year candidate for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
CHS and Prudential announced the honor today. As a local honoree, Crosby, 17, moved on to state-level judging in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program and had a chance to be named as one of two state honorees for Illinois.
On its website, Prudential announced its 2017 state honorees and distinguished finalists. William Bauman (Grayslake) and Kayli Roe (Palatine) were revealed as state honorees, while Caleb Campbell (Greenville), Maya Esparza (Geneseo), Logan Haskill (Rock Island), Paige Hollendonner (Darien), Eden Jacoby (Deerfield), Mallika Luthar (Champaign), James Mathew (Hinsdale) and Samantha Newman (Deerfield) were named as distinguished finalists.
State honorees receive a $1,000 award and an all-expenses-paid trip with with a parent or guardian to Washington D.C. for several days of special recognition events. Other state-level honorees will receive bronze medallions or certificates of excellence.
"Serving others has been one of my most valuable experiences and through volunteering, I have learned it is truly better to give than to receive," Crosby said in a news release. "It only takes a few moments to make a difference through volunteering and volunteering can change lives."
Crosby said her volunteering experiences included making monthly donations of pet food and other items to the Randolph County Humane Society, volunteering at church with different activities and helping the Daughters of the American Revolution Liberty Bell of the West Chapter with various projects.
"These are not life-changing events to anyone, but each small act of kindness makes our community and our world a better place," Crosby said.
During May"s national recognition events in Washington, America"s top 10 youth volunteers of the year will be named by a distinguished selection committee. Each of the national honorees will receive an additional $5,000, a crystal trophy for his or her school or organization and a $5,000 Prudential Foundation grant for a charitable organization of their choice.
"Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld in a statement. "We salute their dedication, their achievements and their spirit of community."
Crosby is the daughter of Steve and Jill Asbury.