Eastern Tech student receives Presidential honor

Maverick junior recognized for outstanding volunteer efforts
Posted on 03/05/2018
H. Varadhan portraitHarshika Varadhan, a junior at Eastern Technical High School, was recently 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. Eastern Tech nominated Harshika for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

As a junior, Varadhan has already earned over double the amount of service learning hours required by the Baltimore County Public School system through her volunteer efforts with the Girl Scouts. Her Gold Award project with the group—to plant 100 trees in her community—was sparked by a religious and environmental initiative. According to Varadhan, the goal for this project was created because, “In my religion, Hindu, trees are seen as sacred. They provide so many resources for us without expecting anything in return.” Eastern Tech guidance counselor Debra James proudly added,” Like the many trees that she planted, Harshika demonstrates the same selflessness as an integral member of our school community. She is not only a 4.0 student in our engineering program, but she is a student who continually gives her time and energy to the goals of innovation and collaboration that we strive to achieve as a school each and every day.” 

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 America for outstanding volunteer service.

The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America 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 Sp
irit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and Affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network. 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, The Presidential 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.