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Student recognized for community work



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March 07, 2012 - By Christopher Ehrmann

Review Intern

Volunteer service did not go unrecognized this year for many students of several schools around the United States, including Lake Orion.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents a program that recognizes students who have excelled in the work they do for the community. The program started in 1995, and it has presented hundreds of thousands of awards to students all around the United States from the local to the national level. The program mainly targets students in grades fifth through twelfth who have done something important for their community.  

According to Jarrett Gorman, a 17-year-old senior at the Lake Orion high school who won an award, thousands of applicants applied and he was lucky enough to be picked as a finalist. Gorman and all of the contestants were judged by an independent panel based on several areas of criteria for an award. The areas that honorees were based on were personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.  

Since he was picked, Gorman said that he was glad to be recognized for his work in the community.

"It is really nice to be recognized for all of my hard work, and I think it shows our community that teenagers can make a difference in the world," said Gorman. "It just takes a couple of hours for you to make a difference."

To graduate Lake Orion High School, students have to participate or volunteer for organizations that help out the community in some way. Lake Orion has had many students that have exceeded the required 40 hours and Gorman was one of those students. He had over 500 hours of community service and has done other volunteer jobs. This includes working at a local food bank and helping out at his local temple for annual Mitzvah Days.

"I was a soccer coach for an organization called TOPS for kids with disabilities to play soccer," said Gorman. "I also went on some retreats with my temple for genocide awareness."

For his work in the community he was awarded an engraved bronze medallion in addition to several other awards like the Michigan Youth Volunteer Award and the Presidential Community Service Award. He's also the recipient of a letter signed by President Barack Obama for his efforts.  

Another aspect that helped was his co-foundership for a weeklong event that started at Lake Orion High School called Charity Week. This was a special week dedicated to raising money for a local organization called the Michael Quinn Foundation.

"Charity week was an idea that we planned for six months prior for a five day weeklong event at school," said Gorman. "We did everything from tailgating at the football game to things throughout the school. The money we raised helped a local family with a child who had cancer and it helped them out financially for medical bills.

"They could take him to Disney Land."

He added he definitely would recommend for students to do more community service hours. According to Gorman Lake Orion's community has given him so much, he wanted to give back.

"So I definitely think you should give back to the community that has helped you growing up," he added.

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