Westerville News & Public Opinion

Three students win national accolades for their community volunteer efforts

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Genoa Middle School eighth grade student Jacob Glorioso, 13, is one of two students named as Ohio's top youth volunteers of 2013 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

A trip to New York City four years ago prompted Westerville student Jacob Glorioso to take action to help those in need.

With a friend, he began babysitting and donating the money he earned to a homeless shelter in New York City. Wanting to help people in his own community, Glorioso founded Children Helping Children in 2009.

The nonprofit partners with local community groups, particularly the Westerville Area Resource Ministry (WARM), to provide seasonal items to local children in need, such as hats, gloves and hot chocolate in the winter, school supplies in the fall and books and beach towels in the summer.

Glorioso's nonprofit also has donated produce and other items to WARM's food pantry.

For his work, Glorioso, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Genoa Middle School, was named the Prudential Spirit of the Community middle school honoree for the state of Ohio.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, are awarded to a middle and high school student in each state.

The students are chosen based solely on their volunteer work.

Glorioso was nominated for the award by Genoa Middle School.

Westerville residents Kristen Sellan and Tyler Moon, both DeSales High School students, were named among eight distinguished finalists for the state.

Sellan, 18, is the founder of Cuddles from Kristen, which provides handmade blankets to those staying at the Ronald McDonald House at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Moon, 16, is an active fundraiser with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's central Ohio chapter.

As the state's middle school honoree, Glorioso will be awarded $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where the 100 award winners from across the country will enjoy four days of recognition events.

During that trip, 10 students will be named as national award winners.