On May 4th, 2019, I began the wonderful experience of a four-day trip spent in Washington, DC as a part of the 24th Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Being one of two NC honorees to go to this prestigious event, I participated in numerous events with 101 other people like me from around the nation as well as 14 students from Taiwan, China, India, Ireland, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea.
We toured sites and monuments around the city like Arlington Cemetery, The Smithsonian, The White House, and Union Station.  We all brought books to donate to two local elementary schools and were able to not only deliver and visit these schools but also read with some of the students as a volunteer activity.  We were honored at a Gala at The Smithsonian Natural History Museum at night which was incredible.  Our awards were given and our service projects were presented and we all received our $1,000 award.  Our guest speaker was Award-Winning Actress Viola Davis and afterward, we all got some one-on-one time to meet her and shake her hand. I told her she had really cool hair.
On Monday at Union Station, there was an awards luncheon where ten of the 102 students (five in middle school and five from high school) would be named a National Honoree.  I am proud and humbled to announce that I was named one of the 10 national Honorees of the Prudential Spirit of The Community Awards 2019. With this prestigious award comes national press about my fund, Alexander’s Toy Trunk, an additional $5,000 for myself, and a $5,000 grant to the fund of my choice, and a crystal trophy that is on display at my school.  Don’t worry,  my $6,000 is already safely in my college savings account and I think we know which fund I chose to receive the $5,000 grant.  With the money, I hope to expand to all Charlotte area hospitals including the Novant system as well as NICU’s in additional states. 
I also was able to meet one of our NC Senators, Thom Tillis, and even had an opportunity to see a Senate hearing about pharmacy medication prices, specifically generic.  I talked to him and will be in contact in the next couple of weeks to meet him again here in Charlotte to discuss how to get more children volunteering in their community.