Jordyn Schara, the North Freedom teen and Reedsburg Area High School junior who has founded four noted community action groups, was named one of Wisconsin's top two youth volunteers for 2012 on Tuesday.
Schara won the youth volunteer award from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Schara has founded and run the groups HOPE (Helping Our Peers Excel), Project READ (Reading Equipment for America's Defenders), C4C (Comics for Change) and WI P2D2 (Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal),
The award came for Schara's work in WI P2D2. The nonprofit organization collects and disposes of unused or unwanted pharmaceuticals so they do not end up in the water supply.
The program also raises awareness of prescription drug abuse.
"Winning the Prudential Spirit of Community award is an incredible honor," Schara said Tuesday, "but more importantly it's an opportunity for me to further spread awareness about groundwater pollution and prescription drug abuse."
Schara's program is being modeled in 17 states, with more than 376,000 pounds of medications disposed of last year.
Schara will receive a $1,000 award, an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., in early May and a medallion from award sponsors Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
"We are so pleased to celebrate these student volunteers," JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP, said in a press release. "It's important to highlight them as powerful examples of how young people can make a difference."
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 HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award.