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Midway teen finalist as top youth volunteer
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Jalisa Peterson, 17, of Midway was named a finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 24th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Peterson was one of six Georgia students recognized as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

Peterson is a senior at Liberty County High School. She has been a dedicated volunteer at a nearby orphanage since 2010, building relationships with the children there, ranging from newborns to 18-year-olds. She plays games with the kids, reads to them, works on arts and crafts projects, and sometimes invites friends to come with her on her visits.

“These young volunteers learned and demonstrated that they can make meaningful contributions to individuals and communities through their service,” said Prudential CEO Charles Lowrey. “It’s an honor to recognize their great work, and we hope that shining a spotlight on their service inspires others to consider how they might make a difference.”

“Each of these honorees is proof that students have the energy, creativity and unique perspectives to create positive change,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We commend each of the 2019 honorees for their outstanding volunteer service, and for the invaluable example they’ve set for their peers.” 

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 affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network, 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 or

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