KasprickOsseo Junior High student Kylie Kasprick, 13, of Brooklyn Park, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Amie Mondl, Hennepin County 4-H Program Coordinator, nominated Kylie for national honors this fall. Kylie documented her hours of service as the 2012-2013 Minnesota State Ambassador for Fuel Up to Play 60, a school wellness program sponsored by the National Dairy Council, Midwest Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, which encourages youth to choose nutrient-rich foods first and get out and play at least 60 minutes each day.

Kylie spoke at schools and several education conferences, made two television appearances promoting Fuel Up to Play 60, interviewed the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and participated in two Leadership Roundtables in Washington, D.C. alongside CEO’s from top companies across the United States.

Kylie is an active writer for the Huddle on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website and was an active participant in three of the FUTP60 Training Days with the Minnesota Vikings. Kylie has been an active member of her school wellness teams at Elm Creek Elementary and Osseo Junior High. Most recently Kylie was a junior broadcaster on “Vikings Huddle,” a TV show created to entertain kids while teaching them about healthy snacks and getting active. 

Kylie presented her yearlong volunteer work as a 4-H Youth Leadership Project to county 4-H clubs at the Hennepin County Fair and at the Minnesota State Fair. 

“We applaud each of these young people for their exemplary volunteer service,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “They use their time and talents to make a meaningful difference in their communities, and we hope their example inspires others to do the same.”

 “By going above and beyond in their volunteer service, these students have brought positive change to communities across the country,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP.  “Congratulations to each and every one of them on this well-deserved honor.”

-Published May 12, 2014

Suresh webMalavika Suresh, senior at Maple Grove Senior High, was named a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winner. Malavika is one of 2,500 Merit Scholar designees chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who analyzed qualifying criteria: student academic records including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Malavika is currently participating in Post Secondary Education Opportunity (PSEO), taking all of her senior year classes at the University of Minnesota. Her course load includes high-level classes such as Multivariable Calculus and Differential Equations.

At Maple Grove Senior High, she participates in speech, debate, math team, and Leadership Council of the National Honor Society. Throughout her high school career, Malavika has volunteered at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale and works as a math tutor at Kumon. She has studied Bharathnatyam (Indian classical dance) for 12 years and currently teaches classes to youth. She plans to study biochemistry and economics at Carleton College.

The 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition began in October 2012 when approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

From that group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2014 program, about 8,000 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and receive a total of more than $35 million in college scholarships.

-Published May 9, 2014