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Shorewood Senior Honored for Volunteer Service with National Awards

April 24, 2014

Anjana Murali, 18, of Shorewood, a Girl Scout and senior at Shorewood High School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service.

Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast nominated Murali for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

After applying for a grant and recruiting youth volunteers, Murali conducted an all-girls chess camp for 75 girls from the inner city of Milwaukee. Murali’s inspiration for the project came after an opponent during her first chess tournament told her she wouldn’t be good at the game because she was a girl.

“My goal was to empower women, encourage more girls to play chess and participate in STEM, and remove the gender disparity that exists in this male dominated sport,” Murali said.

Impressed with the success of her camp, the United State Chess Federation invited Murali to join their national Girls and Women in Chess initiative. Murali went on to conduct two additional chess camps, reaching more than 125 girls so far.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.
“We applaud each of these young people for their exemplary volunteer service,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “They use their time and talents to make a meaningful difference in their communities, and we hope their example inspires others to do the same.”

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates. These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging. In addition to granting Certificates of Excellence and President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of President Barack Obama, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

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