Congratulations to Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Emma Albertoni of Arvada! Emma, a senior at Ralston Valley Senior High School, was named one of Colorado’s top youth volunteers of 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. This is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. As a State Honoree, Emma will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. She will join top honorees from other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2017.
Emma earned the highest honor in Girl Scouting for her work to improve financial literacy education to ensure that students in her school district and ultimately her entire state are prepared to make sound financial decisions when they graduate. The idea hit Emma one summer when she was working at a summer job, shopping for her first car, and looking at college tuitions. “I was dealing with larger sums of money than ever before and I realized I didn’t know anything about using it wisely,” she said. After discussing with her parents such foreign concepts as credit scores, loans, budgeting and taxes, Emma decided she and her peers needed help.
She began by researching financial education in Colorado and found large gaps. For example, “In Algebra II, students are taught how to calculate interest; what they are not taught is how interest could affect their credit scores or how to figure interest into the cost of a purchase,” she said. Emma discussed her concerns with her principal, who put her in touch with the teacher of her school’s Family Consumer Science class. Emma offered to develop a unit on financial safety online for the class, and then created presentations, videos, discussion outlines, and quizzes to use in the classroom. Next, she persuaded the local school board to strengthen the teaching of financial literacy throughout the district, and she is now working with state legislators on guidelines for educators across the state to follow in teaching students about financial topics.
In 2016, Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Christina Bear of Golden was named a Distinguished Finalist for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. She received an engraved bronze medallion.
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 HandsOn Network affiliates, 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.
For information on this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit http://spirit.prudential.com.