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Loudoun Student Receives President Obama's Volunteer Award

LOUDOUN, VA — Varsha Kakaraparti, of Loudoun, a student at Tuscarora High School, has been honored for her 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 granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region nominated Varsha for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

Varsha has been volunteering with the Red Cross since the seventh grade. When her uncle was hospitalized with leukemia, Varsha, along with her mother and sister, saw first hand, the importance of blood donations. Wanting to give back to the community, Varsha’s mother took her daughters to volunteer at the local Red Cross office. They started managing blood drive scheduling and marketing, and now, Varsha performs these myriad tasks on her own and has collected 850 pints in just five years. She manages communication with local libraries, organizes blood drives, and produces marketing materials.

Despite being a busy High School Student, Varsha continues to take the time to handle this important function for her local Red Cross. Varsha is passionate about working with the Red Cross: “One of the things I like most about working with the Red Cross is the staff. They are kind and approachable and very easy to work with”. Varsha’s dedication and hard work have helped her local Red Cross to provide life-saving blood to those who need it. For Varsha, “Volunteering for the Red Cross and working with blood drives is very rewarding, because I know that I am helping someone and indirectly saving lives”.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across American for outstanding volunteer service.

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

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, American Red Cross chapters, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates. These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging. In addition to granting President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of President Barack Obama, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorees, Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Prudential Financial:

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committeed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and proect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuitites, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.