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Speck honored with President's Volunteer Award

Katy Speck
Katy Speck

Oregon High School senior Kathryn Speck, 18, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Service Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. 

Speck, the daughter of Robert and Diana Speck, Oregon, participated in the Spirit of Community program this year as a representative of Oregon High School.

Speck earned her award by excelling in academics and service to the community. 

She was nominated by Oregon High School officials in recognition of her academic rank (currently second in the class), dedication to the community (more than 400 hours of community service) and leadership. 

Speck has volunteered for the Oregon Fire Department, Oregon Park District, KSB Hospital, Autumn On Parade, Oregon Trail Days, Trivia for Trevor Nights, mission trips, Bible camps, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Relay for Life, Autism Speaks, and a variety of other projects for local and national charities throughout her high school career.

"My most memorable projects include my mission trip to Mountain T.O.P. in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee in July 2011, the first Trivia for Trevor in January 2012, and my many projects with the OHS Key Club as President in 2011-2012, " Speck said.

OHS Principal, PJ Caposey has high praise for Speck.

“Katy is a one-of-a-kind student that makes Oregon High School and the Oregon community a better place simply because of her presence," he said. "I am confident that she will have the same impact upon the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in the community where she resides in the future. I am proud to have had the experience of serving as Katy’s principal.”

Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program recognizes young people across America for outstanding community service activities. 

More than 370,000 young people across America have been considered for these awards since the program began in 1995.

“The recipients of these awards vividly demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John R. Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. “In recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer service activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through community volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Program applications were distributed last September through all public and private middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs, and affiliates of HandsOn Network. 

After local honorees were named, state-level judges selected state honorees, distinguished finalists, and Certificate of Excellence recipients. 

Volunteer activities were judged on criteria such as personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact, and personal growth.

NASSP, based in Reston, Va., is an organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world.

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