National program selects Ohio’s top youth volunteers of 2018

Staff report

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recently honored Ohio’s top youth volunteers of 2018 with $1,000, medallions and a trip to the nation’s capital. Distinguished finalists from Warren and East Liverpool were awarded an engraved bronze medallion.

Gianna Jones, 17, of Warren, a senior at Warren G. Harding High School, worked with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership to brighten abandoned properties in her community by hand-painting the boards that were placed over doors and windows with portraits of important women in history, protecting the buildings from intruders and the elements.

Ryan Miller, 18, of East Liverpool, a senior at Wellsville Junior/Senior High School, is the creator and director of The Tiger Closet, a room at his school stocked with personal-hygiene items and school supplies for students in need. After learning how many students at his school qualified for free or reduced lunches, Ryan gained approval for the project from his principal then solicited business and community donations to stock the closet.

Public and private middle level and high schools in the country as well as Girl Scout councils, 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network, are eligible to nominate a student or member for the awards. Local honorees are then reviewed by an independent judging panel that selected state honorees and distinguished finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 120,000 young volunteers have been honored. For information on all honorees and finalists, visit

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