Katherine Dolma is one of two Alaska students to be named Alaska’s top youth volunteers of 2014 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. This nationwide program honored 102 young people earlier this month for outstanding acts of volunteerism, according to a press release issued by the awards program.
Dolma, a Homer High School senior, was recognized for the three-day nature camp she began for fifth- and sixth-grade girls who have experienced traumatic events. Dolma and her friend, Taylor Ellison, presented the camp idea at the Rotary Global Peace Forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in January 2013. Following the forum, Dolma arranged for camp facilities at the Peterson Bay Field Station, created a schedule of activities, prepared administrative materials, planned menus, collected camp gear and coordinated with local agencies to recruit campers.
Leah Smith of Palmer was the second state honoree. Each of the girls received $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they received the awards and were congratulated by Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.
“By going above and beyond in their volunteer service, these students have brought positive change to communities across the country,” JoAnn Bartoletti executive director of NASSP, said in the press release. “Congratulations to each and every one of them on this well-deserved honor.”