MICDS Upper School students received the Presidential Service Award.

59 Upper School Students Receive Presidential Service Award

On Tuesday, April 30, an inspiring 59 Upper School students were recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for their remarkable commitment to community service. The award program’s goal, described by Erin Hamill, Director of Global Learning and Upper School Community Service, is to “encourage more people to live lives of service and celebrate the spirit of volunteerism.”

Specifically, the award recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain number of hours of service during a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. Awards are given to youth ages 15 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service (50 – bronze, 75 – silver, 100 – gold) and to individuals 16 and older who have completed 100 or more hours (100 – bronze, 175 – silver, 250 – gold).

A remarkable, combined total of over 9,000 hours of service was achieved by our MICDS Upper School students. The recipients received their awards in a ceremony on Monday where MICDS Head of School Lisa Lyle and Ms. Hamill addressed the audience. Gold Award recipient Harper Graves ’22 shared her experience of volunteering in nursery school camps. One of her young charges was new to the U.S. and spoke only Spanish. Harper and one other teacher also spoke Spanish, and they worked closely with the child. By the end of three weeks, the little boy was able to communicate with other children and make friends. His resilience inspired Harper. She said, “Service hours offer a chance. It is a chance that can give you access to people who will be completely unique and different from anywhere else. It is a chance to teach us compassion for others. And it is a chance to change our community and city for the better.”

In addition to receiving a President’s Volunteer Service Award, Bree Baker ’20 earned
a Congressional Award Gold Medal. This award takes a minimum of two years to
complete, and recipients of the gold award must have completed a minimum of
400 voluntary public service hours, as well as 200 hours in personal development,
200 hours in physical fitness, and 4 nights and 5 days of expedition or exploration.
The Award is meant to be a challenge, yet achievable, with goal setting and a long
term commitment to these goals in the forefront. Bree will be receiving her Gold
Medal this June at a ceremony in Washington DC.

Allison Imbriglia from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recognized Katie Flemming ’19 for work in creating “Katie’s Books for Kids,” an initiative that has resulted in the donation of more than 5,000 books to patients at children’s hospitals and allows pediatric patients to take books home with them when they are released. Ms. Imbrigilia explained that Prudential Financial, in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, sponsors The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. This national program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding volunteer service. She said, “Thousands of young people across the country were considered for 2019 Spirit of Community Awards. From all of these, a select few in each state and the District of Columbia have been selected for special recognition.” She recognized Katie as a Distinguished Finalist and presented her with an engraved Prudential Spirit of Community bronze medallion in recognition of Katie’s outstanding community service.

Below is the list of our Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipients.

Gold Award Winners

Nischal Ada ’20

Jenna Bernstein ’21

Nishanth Boppana ’20

Tanay Chandak ’20

Catherine Cherrick ’20

Aadhya Chilakala ’21

Katie Flemming ’19

Mahi Gangavarapu ’19

Harper Graves ’22

Eric Ji ’21

Noah Kleinlehrer ’22

Jacob Lefton ’19

Skyler Lesslie ’20

Amy Li ’21

Virginia Naughton ’22

Silver Award Winners

Megana Atluri ’20

Harrison Brown ’22

Jane Goldman ’22

Layth Hamed ’19

Caley McCline ’19

Ananya Radhakrishnan ’21

Arjun Ramakrishnan ’20

Courtney Shands ’21

Bronze Award Winners

Reni Akande ’19

Nicita Anand ’20

Bree Baker ’20

Lily Baker ’21

Lauren Bedell ’20

Sonia Bhayani ’22

Claudia Cheng ’20

Cecilia Cohen ’20

Matthew Curtis ’20

Stanley Ding ’20

Lauren Ferguson ’20

Jennifer Goldberg ’19

Meredith Goldberg ’20

Lauren Goldberg ’20

Annalisa Goot ’21

Elle Haines ’21

Benjamin Hollander-Bodie ’20

Helen Jiang ’20

Weijia Jin ’20

Alyssa Kalishman ’21

Caroline Latta ’20

Patrick Mason ’22

Ilana Meissner ’21

Palmer Mihalevich ’20

Brandon Mitchell-Day ’22

Srujay Pandiri ’19

Ria Patil ’22

Jack Peluso ’21

Andrew Ponciroli ’22

Aakarsh Rai ’20

Divya Singh ’21

Bonnie Sneider ’21

Mac Southern ’22

Alex Wienstroer ’19

Jonathan Zhang ’20

Christine Zhang ’20

Congratulations to all of our award winners, and thank you for selflessly donating so much of your time and talent!