WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today congratulated Tiffany Easter of Sheridan and Blake Abston of Little Rock on being named Arkansas’s top two youth volunteers of 2013 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program that honors youth for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
“Through their extraordinary community service, Tiffany and Blake have made a lasting impact on their local communities and our world,” Pryor said. “Arkansas is proud of their service, and I know they will continue to do great things for our state.”
“Tiffany and Blake represent a great future for our country as citizens who actively work to make the world a better place. I appreciate their efforts and congratulate them on their hard work and determination to help others and encourage them to continue the efforts they have started,” Boozman said.
Tiffany Easter, a senior at Sheridan High School, was nominated for her efforts to free women and children being held in “Trokosi” slavery in Ghana, West Africa. By selling inscribed sunglasses and wrist bands at community events and church gatherings, Tiffany and her sister raised enough money to purchase the freedom of nearly 60 women and children.
Blake Abston, an eight-grade student at Pulaski Heights Middle School, was nominated for his work on raised-bed gardens at a local children’s shelter. His project originated as a Boy Scouts assignment, but has since turned into a healthy resource and supportive activity for shelter residents.
Chosen as Arkansas’s Distinguished Finalists were Tatiana Borecky of Fairfield Bay, Katherine Boyd of Huntsville, Robert Callahan of Rosie, and Hailey Flatte of Fort Smith.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards partners with the National Association of Secondary School Principals to honor two students from each state—one middle school and one high school—for their volunteer service. State Honorees receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to tour landmarks, meet top volunteers, attend an awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of National History, and visit with their congressional representatives.