Idaho’s Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 21St Annual National Awards Program

Parma and Blackfoot students earn $1,000 awards, engraved medallions
and trip to nation’s capital

Honors also bestowed on youth volunteers in Salmon and Pocatello

BOISE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Harlie Sorrell, 18, of Parma and Tracen Mangum, 13, of Blackfoot today
were named Idaho’s top two youth volunteers of 2016 by The Prudential
Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people
for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Harlie was nominated by Parma High
School in Parma, and Tracen was nominated by Snake River Junior High
School in Blackfoot. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in
its 21st year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with
the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Harlie, a senior at Parma High School, has filled hundreds of shoe boxes
with gloves, hats, socks, toiletries and other items each Christmas for
the past nine years and delivered them to people in need. When she was
9, Harlie helped fill a shoe box at her church with items a needy child
would need in winter. “I was amazed at how good it felt to help and
wanted to do more,” she said. The following Christmas, Harlie used her
birthday gift money to fill her own boxes, and shipped 28 of them to a
mission in Montana. After receiving a photo of a smiling little boy
holding one of her boxes, Harlie repeated her project for the next two

Harlie then decided to distribute Christmas boxes to the needy in her
own community. She started speaking at area churches every Sunday from
October to December to raise shopping money, asked Boise State
University’s athletic program for empty shoe boxes, and spent Saturdays
filling and wrapping the boxes. The first year she distributed 350
boxes; by Christmas 2014, she was delivering 600 boxes to individuals,
local shelters, community centers and a holiday dinner for homeless men.
“I have seen so much need it is sometimes overwhelming,” she said. “So
many homeless and needy people out there!”

Tracen, an eighth-grader at Snake River Junior High School, co-founded a
youth volunteer group with his brother that has collected more than 800
winter-wear items for people in need. It all began when Tracen and his
brother started volunteering at the local animal shelter where they’d
adopted their dog, and later held a community pet food drive that ended
up delivering more the 3,000 pounds of pet food and supplies to two
local animal-welfare organizations and to families who could not afford
to feed their pets. After Tracen and his brother were recognized locally
for their efforts, they heard from other young people in the community
who wanted to know how to volunteer, too. So they organized the “I, YOU,
WE YOUTH GROUP” to take on other service projects.

That spring, the group held a winter wear drive, decorating boxes and
placing them throughout the community. By November, the young volunteers
had collected more than 400 coats, hats, boots and other winter
necessities, which they washed, mended and distributed to five local
organization that assist families in need. Since May 2015, the group has
collected another 470 winter wear items and delivered them to local
organizations. Tracen has also been involved in efforts to recycle
grocery bags by turning them into plastic mats for the homeless, and has
supported the volunteer projects of other youth in the community by
collecting books and helping with fundraising. “Volunteering has made me
more aware of the needs of the animals and people in our community,”
Tracen said.

As State Honorees, Harlie and Tracen each will receive $1,000, an
engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to
Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from each of
the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national
recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s
top youth volunteers of 2016.

Distinguished Finalists

The program judges also recognized two other Idaho students as
Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service
activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

These are Idaho’s Distinguished Finalists for 2016:

Harlee Nelson, 17, of Salmon, Idaho, a senior at Salmon High
School, has collected and distributed 815 new and gently used coats to
children and adults in need throughout the community. Harlee, who
started her first Christmas coat drive in 2011 when she realized many
children in the community did not have warm coats, promotes the program
through flyers and local media, sets up donation boxes throughout town,
washes and repairs coats, and has set up a coat distribution center at
the local Junior High School.

Jenna Novy, 17, of Pocatello, Idaho, a senior at Century High
School, led a food and hygiene drive at her school last spring with the
help of fellow Interact Club members, and collected enough items to fill
the back

of her truck. Jenna, decorated and placed collection boxes throughout
the school, along with posters and buttons to promote the drive, while
she and other project members contacted food distributors to secure
additional donations.

“Prudential commends each of these young volunteers for using their
creativity and compassion to bring positive change to their
communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope
their stories inspire others to consider how they can make a difference,

“We are pleased to honor these students not only for their exemplary
acts of service, but for the powerful example they’ve set for their
peers,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP.
“Congratulations to each of the 2016 honorees.”

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

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 HandsOn Network affiliates, 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

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and
one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia –
will tour the capital’s landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from

other parts of the world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and visit their
congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. On May 2, 10 of the State
Honorees – five middle level and five high school students – will be
named America’s top youth volunteers of 2016. These National Honorees
will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies
and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit
charitable organizations of their choice.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 115,000 young volunteers have
been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is
conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,
Ireland, India, China and Brazil. In addition to granting its own
awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also
distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local
Honorees on behalf of President Barack Obama.

For information on all of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community
State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the
leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the
United States and 35 countries around the world. The association
connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research,
education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school
leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school
leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality
professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing
commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the
National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National
Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.
For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit

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 committed to helping
individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth
through a variety of products and services, including life insurance,
annuities, 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

Editors: For full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards
program logo and medallions, click here:


Prudential Financial
Harold Banks, (973) 802-8974 or (973) 216-4833