Charlottesville teen honored for volunteer service

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- A local teen has been recognized for her outstanding volunteer service by a national program.

Sixteen-year-old Lucia Hoerr, a junior at St. Anne's-Belfield, has been named one of Virginia's two Honorees of 2017 in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Her nonprofit organization, Backpack Buddies, helps children in need start the school year off with the school supplies they need.

Hoerr started the program seven years ago when she reached out to the local Boys and Girls Club to see if there were children in need of backpacks and school supplies.

Since then, she has invested hundreds of hours in the nonprofit, through fundraisers, collection drives, social media and more.
So far she has helped supply almost 1,500 backpacks for area children.

Virginia's other honoree is 14-year-old Shishir Sriramoju of Ashburn who started a summer chess club to introduce the game to elementary students and raise money for charities, like the World Health Organization, the American Red Cross and Children's National Hospital.

Six other teens in Virginia have been named distinguished finalists by the program: Morgan Lewis of Richmond, Meredith Polk of Richmond, Varanika Sharma of Virginia Beach, Sydney Tune of Fredericksburg, Arianna Wright of Leesburg, and Julie Vranches of Ruckersville.

Each state in the United States and the District of Columbia has two honorees and several distinguished finalists.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a national program that honors students in grades five through 12 for volunteer service.

To learn more and see a full list of this year's honorees, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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