Congratulations to senior Cydnei Quinn for being nominated for the Prudential Community Service Award. Cydnei was among the students nationwide designated as a Distinguished Finalist for her impressive community service activities - and, for this, received the President's Volunteer Service Award. Cydnei was nominated to receive the honor by Principal, Kevin Beirne and Montini Catholic's administrative team. "Cydnei has really dedicated her time and talent to giving back to the community," said Principal Beirne. "While there are so many Montini students who do wonderful service learning work, we felt Cydnei truly embodies the Prudential Spirit of Community Award."
"I was so ecstatic to hear that I won the presidential award!" said Cydnei. "I felt as if all of the hard work in volunteering that I've put in over my high school career had led up to such a great memorable and life changing accomplishment!" Parents, Derrick and Keina Quinn were very proud. "Each and every day (my parents) push and support me to keep doing all that I can do whether it be in school or out of school activities," informed Cydnei. " I am so grateful to have them in my life and without them I probably wouldn't have accomplished this much in my life."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level. "These young volunteers learned and demonstrated that they can make meaningful contributions to individuals and communities through service," said Prudential CEO Charles Lowrey. "It's an honor to recognize their great work, and we hope that shining a spotlight on them inspires others to consider how they can make a difference."
Cydnei spends a large portion of her time volunteering for events sponsored by The American Cancer Society including their Rock'N Roll Half Marathon, Walk & Roll, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. "My role includes set-up and clean-up of the races, handing out water to participates, passing out brochures, and working in coat check stations," she said. "We would offer a variety of fruits, crackers, and protein bars. My favorite station is the cheering station! I would stand at the finish line and help cheer on participants as they race to the finish line!"
"My family had inspired me to seek out and pursue organizations that were specifically affiliated with raising funds to find a cure for cancer and aiding in the treatment of patients and survivors," she says. "Cancer has touched the lives of many loved ones in my life. My neighbor is a stage 4 breast cancer survivor. At the time, she was in her twenties and had two young boys. I remember the entire neighborhood coming together making meals for the family during her time of need." Cydnei informs that cancer has affected her own family as well. "Last year, my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer just before the holiday season. That was a rough time for me because we are very close, being that I am the only grandchild on that side of the family. Since I've experienced this up close, volunteering with cancer awareness organizations is my own way of reaching out and lending a hand in the best way possible."
"One of my most memorable volunteer experiences was when the NAACP decided to form the STEAM camp at North Central College back in 2016," she said. "I saw the camp grow over the years from a super small camp with only a handful of kids, to this huge event that is so desired by families in the area that this year we were filled to the brim with kids and had to shut down registration! I felt a sense of pride knowing that I was there from the beginning to see this camp blossom into something outstanding. I can't wait to see what the future holds for the camp!"
Miss Quinn, a graduate of Calvary Christian School in Naperville and is a member of Montini's National Honor Society. Cydnei also volunteers her time as a Student Ambassador at Montini, representing the school which includes hosting prospective Broncos at various events. She is also a member of the French Club and French Honors Society, a member of the Book Club, as well as the Montini TrebleMakers (an acapella singing group).
Cydnei has already secured close to $500,000 in scholarship offers due to her impressive high school resume which is a compilation of both service and academic successes. She is excited about her plans to study Psychology on a pre-medical track at the University of Dayton - and her plans extend well beyond college. "I aspire to gain enough experience within my field and be a part of something extraordinary in the research aspect of psychology, maybe write a book, and then later on have my own practice as a psychiatrist!"
Cydnei firmly believes that it's being of service to one's community that provides value to life. "Never do the bare minimum! Go out into your community and help as much as possible!" she says. "Volunteering not only aids others - but it aids you in that you're able to grow as a person and have valuable, life changing experiences that you can't get anywhere else!"
"We are so proud of Cydnei," said Principal Beirne. "We expect to hear about her great accomplishments as she pursues her goals at Dayton!"