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Travis Rinkenberger, a senior at Morris Area High School, has recently been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a President's Volunteer Service Award.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was presented by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Travis participated in the Spirit of Community program this year as a representative of Morris Area High School.

Travis was presented this award on Feb. 23. He was surprised and at the same time excited about receiving this honor. Travis does volunteer an extraordinary amount of time not only in our school as he is President of our Student Council, but also in our community. Travis said, "I feel like it is right for me to give my time back to a community that is so supportive of the students that go to school here. It is quite an honor."

Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program recognizes young people across America for outstanding community service activities. More than 310,000 young people across America have been considered for these awards since the program began in 1995.

"The recipients of these awards vividly demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities," said John R. Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. "In recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer service activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community."

"The young people recognized by the Spirit of Community Awards demonstrate an enormous capacity for giving and reaching out to those in need, " said Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "NASSP is proud to honor them as they are wonderful examples of the high caliber of young people in our nation's schools today."

Program applications were distributed last September through all public and private middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Hands on Network. After Loyal Honorees were named, state-level judges selected State Honorees, Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria such as personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact, and personal growth.

A glance ahead

March 4 - Student Leader presentation to all 7-9th grade students

March 7 - Day of Compassion for 9th grade students

March 21 - Winter Awards Night

School Board Meeting

March 22 - 7-8th grade Band Concert

March 24 - FLEX Day

March 25 - End of Quarter 3

March 29 - 9-12th grade Choir and Band Concert

March 30 - Early Dismissal