This year, many students were recognized for addressing critical community needs in a year of upheaval. “We created the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 26 years ago to highlight and support the work of young people taking on the challenges of a changing world – a mission that rings truer than ever given the events of last year,” said Charles Lowrey, Prudential’s chairman and CEO. “Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us. We salute their dedication, their achievements, and their spirit of community.”
Taylor was named a Distinguished Finalist for his Create a Computer initiative. His love of computers, his belief that a solid education is critical, and his desire to improve his hometown and his school system fueled his campaign to recruit students in rebuilding an outdated computer lab. Taylor has since hosted a series of camps where students learn to build their own laptops for virtual learning.
"Powerful computers are needed now more than ever, especially for students to learn effectively and pursue their passions,” explained Taylor. “I started the nonprofit Create a Computer to help improve access to computers while empowering kids to gain hands-on engineering and job skills."
Fellow Tilghman students Kate Bidwell and Addie Beth Franklin, both sophomores, were named Local Honorees.
Bidwell has followed her passion for the performing arts by serving as a teaching assistant at the Market House Theatre’s Footlights and DanceMHT programs. Says Bidwell, “Through volunteering at MHT, I’ve become more confident in myself. I’ve learned how to effectively lead and accomplish goals, and I’ve acquired many new skills such as how to adapt to children’s different learning styles and how to keep students engaged in activities.”
Franklin is also involved at the Market House Theatre as a teaching assistant. “The Market House Theatre has always been a safe space for me where I have grown and developed skills that will stay with me my entire life. Volunteering there is my way of paying it forward to the many young students I come in contact with. I have learned how to connect with children and help them know they are loved.”
Addie Beth Franklin
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents America’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 140,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level.