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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

School Board Recognitions
March 1, 2016

6. Student, Employee and Public Awards and Recognitions
6A. Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree

Be prepared to be impressed this evening by the work of two outstanding young people. The School Board’s first honoree was named one of the top two youth volunteers in Virginia. Let’s meet 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honoree: Princess Anne Middle School student Chase Anthony! For Chase, getting involved in philanthropic work wasn’t about awards or recognition. For Chase it was something more special: honoring his third-grade teacher who sadly lost her fight to breast cancer in 2012 while Chase was still a student at Strawbridge Elementary School. “Mrs. Dreelin always makes us feel good and happy even though she has breast cancer,” he wrote back in 2012. “The teachers and a lot of students wear pink every Wednesday and I wear a pink bracelet and pink shoelaces every day,” he added referencing the color that today is symbolic of breast cancer awareness. That was the start of numerous awareness events and fundraising efforts—everything from lemonade stands to car washes to yard sales to dodgeball tournaments. Chase and his fellow friends, whom he calls the Pink Posse, soon became a fundraising powerhouse for the cause. His efforts even launched a “Chaseing 4 A Cure” group, one of the largest race teams in the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure. At Princess Anne Middle School, Chase even inspired a “celebrate pink day,” “pink pep rally” and “pink football game.”

His heartfelt cause has now earned him the honor as one of Virginia’s top two youth volunteers in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, which is the largest youth recognition program in the United States based solely on volunteer service. In addition, he is also a recipient of the Volunteer Service Award from the President of the United States. Chase is headed to Washington D.C. later this month to be recognized, but more importantly to further the cause.

Please join me in recognizing Chase, one of America’s top youth volunteers!

6B. American Field Study (AFS) Project Change Grand Prize Winner
Our next recognition is equally as impressive. Please join the School Board in recognizing a student who is the grand prize winner in a global competition to make this world a better place. Let’s welcome: the American Field Study (AFS) Project Change Grand Prize Winner, Sai Senthilkumar, eighth grade student at Kemps Landing/Old Donation School. For more than 65 years, AFS has become a leader in intercultural learning and international exchange programs in more than 40 countries. Now, the organization is hosting a competition to inspire students to share their visions for global change. With more than 34,000 votes cast online worldwide amongst 800 ideas, a project to help curb childhood obesity in India developed by Sai emerged as the grand prize winner. And it’s easy to see why his project is so compelling. Sai shares that his parents have consistently reminded him how fortunate his family is to live a life of abundance while many children in India go to sleep hungry. At the same time, during his recent visits to India, Sai has also observed the other end of the spectrum: obesity in children. Sai’s project revealed startling statistics and, most of all, the health impact that obesity can have on individuals and India’s future workforce, if a change does not happen. His plan is to use the country’s two major communication channels—social media and schools—to increase awareness about factors that contribute to obesity, including lack of exercise, unhealthy food choices and excessive electronics usage. In India, the large majority of the populous communicates via social media so Sai can reach a larger audience and achieve a greater effect. In addition, teachers are highly regarded in the Indian culture so they can further help increase awareness. As the Grand Prize Winner, Sai—accompanied by AFS and 10 other student finalists—will bring his project to life by traveling to India for two weeks this summer where they will learn more about the complexities of hunger and obesity that India is now facing. The group will then visit schools to perform a play about proper nutrition and visit underprivileged communities to help increase awareness.

Please join me in congratulating Sai for his commendable work and for being named the worldwide AFS Project Change Grand Prize Winner!

Mr. Chairman that concludes our student and employee recognitions for this evening.

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017