Hudson -- A 17-year-old Hudson High School senior was named one of nine distinguished Ohio finalists for the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

The award is given each year to honor community service and volunteerism in students in fifth through 12th grades.

As a finalist, Ben Tiemann, Hudson High School Student Government president, will receive a medal and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which will include a letter from President Obama.

Ben helped raise $3,000 for "93 Cents for Flight 93" during a 2011 homecoming week fundraiser. The 93 Cents for Flight 93 is funding a memorial in Shanksville, Pa., to honor the September 11 passengers of Flight 93 who fought with terrorists, causing the plane to crash in a field instead of reaching a targeted building in Washington D.C.

The HHS homecoming was on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

In 2012, Ben led fellow student government members in a series of week-long fundraising events, donating $5,000 to help support the Valor Home, a 30-bed, transitional housing facility for veterans, in Akron.

"I'm honored; especially to be compared to the other finalists, who are all extremely accomplished," Ben said.

Ben has also worked with administrators and community leaders to better the schools, and helped organize a canned food drive. He was selected to attend the Grad Nation summit in Washington, D.C., which is an event put on by America's Promise Alliance and Colin Powell to lower dropout rates and further education, Ben said.

"I don't really feel like I'm the one who has helped these people; it was my peers and community leaders who have made these fundraisers and other ideas successful, so all credit [goes] to them," Ben said.

Ben, whose favorite subject in school is history, is undecided on his college choice, but is "pretty sure I'm going to major in a business field, and possibly get my law degree."

The senior would also like to pursue his interest in history, he said.

His siblings, Sarah, a junior at Valparaiso University in Indiana, and brother, Matt, who lives in Chicago, have "really helped pave the way for me," Ben said.

"I really look up to them," Ben said.

Ben's parents, Dave and Kathy, said their son demonstrated a desire to help others even when he was a child.

"Ben has been philanthropic, even at a young age, and has always strived to help others," Kathy said.

His parents are proud of each of the accomplishments, but one stands out to them.

"Obviously we are proud of the recognition he has received for his leadership in the Valor Home fundraising event," Kathy added.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service, according to a press release from the organization. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award with close to 5,000 local honorees reviewed.

Winners and "Distinguished Finalists" are picked from each state. The Ohio winners, or "State Honorees" were: Scott Hannah, 18, Southeastern High School in South Charleston and Jacob Glorioso, 13, Genoa Middle School in Westerville.


Phone: 330-541-9435