Olivia, 14, of Birmingham was named one of Alabama's top two youth volunteers for 2009 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 14th year, is conducted by Prudential financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Olivia, an eighth grader at Huffman Middle School, volunteered more than 200 hours at the Birmingham Zoo last year feeding and caring for animals, assisting with birthday parties and other special events, working at the zoo's summer camps, instructing visitors and helping with a recycling program. Olivia, who loves animals, decided several years ago that she wanted to work at the zoo.
In addition to naming two winners, the judges also recognized four other Alabama students as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Victoria, 17 of Birmingham is a member of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama was named as a Distinguished Finalist. Victoria, a senior at Spain Park High School, created a program called "Rescue Quilts," which has provided 2,500 handmade quilts and blankets for police officers to distribute to children in crisis. She has engaged more than 600 volunteers to help with her program.
Lindsey, a member of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, was also named as a Local Honoree for her volunteer work in her community.