A 13-YEAR-OLD student at Tandragee Junior High School has been named as one of the top youth volunteers in Ireland.
Jake McMillan, who has volunteered for Marie Curie Cancer Care since he was six-years-old after his mother’s uncle died from cancer, was honoured in the seventh annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
Jake has participated in the Marie Curie Scarva Stroll for seven years and has been a part of the Belfast Marathon Three-Mile Fun Run for three years. He supports the Great Daffodil Appeal by doing street and store collections, and this year he hosted his first Marie Curie ‘Blooming Great End of Term Tea Party’.
Jake has raised an impressive £4,156 to date. In recognition of his efforts, he received the Exceptional Young Volunteer Award from Sir Peter Davis in 2010.
“For his young years, Jake is an exceptional individual who cares about people and the environment. From the first time I met Jake he made an impression on me – his smile, his attitude toward others and his box full of coins carefully carried to the registration desk.
He is a credit to his family and his school,” said Sandra Spence, Marie Curie’s community fundraising co-ordinator.
Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards showcases the outstanding acts of volunteerism demonstrated by second-level students across Ireland.
It is the only programme of its kind in Ireland and so highlights the positive impact and influence young people have on society and the people around them.
Each year, 20 finalists are chosen from hundreds of applications nationwide. Pramerica Systems Ireland Limited developed the programme, in partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).
Jake will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Pramerica Systems Ireland Limited later this month. Meanwhile, on March 27, Jake and 19 other finalists will be honoured at a gala awards dinner in Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny.
They will also receive €500 euro and an engraved silver medallion. In addition, two of the finalists will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year at the awards dinner and will receive 1,000 euro for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion and an all-expenses paid trip to the United States in May to participate in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
“These young volunteers are not only a credit to their schools, their families and their communities, they are a credit to themselves,” said Caroline Faulkner, senior mmanaging director & CIO, Pramerica Systems Ireland Limited. “We are delighted to acknowledge their hard work and commitment - which takes place under the radar - and their efforts to improve the lives of others.”