Ashten Vincent, 17, of Edmond, and Katherine Prior, 13, of Oklahoma City, were named Oklahoma’s top youth volunteers of 2014 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Vincent was nominated by Edmond North High School, and Prior was nominated by Girls Scouts Western Oklahoma, according to a news release.
Vincent, a junior at Edmond North, formed a teen volunteer group four years ago that now includes more than 600 students who have logged more than 3,000 hours of community service. She was inspired to start the group when her voice teacher tragically lost both her parents. She and fellow students provided meals and babysitting.
Vincent then started a group called RAKIT, for Random Acts of Kindness in Teens.
Prior, a home-schooled eighth-grader, monitors the water quality in a creek for a state conservation commission and educates other young people and her community about how their actions affect the waterway. She became interested in environmental science while participating in Girl Scout activities.
After taking a two-day training session, Prior began collecting water samples at Crutcho Creek with some friends once a month, recording environmental changes. She and two other Girl Scouts also wrote and illustrated a children’s book that teaches the importance of recycling.
Vincent and Prior each will receive $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., in May where they will join other state honorees.
Finalists from Oklahoma were Cierra Little Water Fields, 14, of Fort Gibson; Jessica Miller, 18, of Wright City; Erika Vinson, 18, of Muskogee and Kaylee Young, 17, of Norman.
FROM STAFF REPORTS