Hidden Oaks Middle School student Sanya Pirani, 12, has been named a distinguished Minnesota finalist for the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award. A seventh-grader, Sanya manages her own nonprofit organization, “Sanya’s Hope For Children,” which aims to assist children in her school with basic necessities. She has led hundreds of her peers to participate in projects including clothing, diaper and book drives; her “Christmas Bag Project” unites volunteers to sew and stuff bags full of toys, school supplies and books for homeless children.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. These Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.