Anna Kimata has been recognized as Hawaii's Top Youth Volunteer. It was part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The Punahou sophomore organized a project to collect books and other educational materials for schools in Palau.
Anna Kimata, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, a sophomore at Punahou School, organized a project to collect books and other educational materials for schools in the small island nation of Palau, where many students lack basic educational resources. When she interned at the state capitol, she learned that in many small countries, schools lack the basic educational resources that Americans take for granted. Anna said she needed to do something to help students at those schools "cultivate their love of learning and give them the knowledge to pursue their dreams."
After researching small countries in the Pacific, Anna decided to focus her efforts on Palau, located in Micronesia. She began by meeting with the country's president to discuss its educational needs. Then she wrote letters to request donations, met with leaders of organizations that could help, and recruited 40 volunteers. When donations began coming in, Anna and her team sorted through the materials to make sure everything was in good condition. She then partnered with two companies that agreed to transport the items to Palau. To date, Anna's efforts have gathered more than $4,000 worth of educational supplies for the students of that country. "I hope to continue this project in the future so that I can pay forward the gift of education," she said.
*Information about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and how to participate is online, so please post the Prudential website for those that are interested in applying to the program for the coming year --spirit.prudential.com or by calling (877) 525-8491
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