Local Ohio Connections Academy Student Honored for Community Service

National program recognizes youth making positive impact in their towns and neighborhoods

Photo Caption:

Emily Fields Gavorski (l) of Aurora receives a Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Certificate of Achievement from Prudential representative Floyd Buchanan. Emily, a sophomore at Ohio Connections Academy, was recognized for her efforts to assist people with disabilities in her community.


COLUMBUS (January 22, 2016) – Emily Fields Gavorski, of Aurora (Portage County) was among eight Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) students recognized today as winners of the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service.

Emily, a sophomore, was presented a Certificate of Achievement during the OCA board meeting in recognition of her work assisting people with disabilities. Emily volunteers with Stagecrafters Broadway Buddies, an adaptive musical theater program that encourages aspiring actors with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. Emily received a Certificate of Merit from the Spirit of Community Awards last year.

As a recipient of a Certificate of Achievement, Emily is recognized as one of the nation’s top volunteers for 2016 and is now eligible to receive a $1,000 award, a silver medallion, and represent Ohio in an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C., for the national recognition ceremonies next May.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Award program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle school and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.

“The faculty, staff and members of the board at Ohio Connections Academy are so proud of the students and the time and effort they have given to make a positive impact on their communities,” Marie Hanna, OCA Superintendent said. “Each of the students have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and a commitment to making our world a better place – they deserve this recognition and all that they shall receive in the future.”


The other Ohio Connections Academy students are being commended for their service in the following areas:

Enhancing Community Resources – Alex Rose, Harpster
Taking Care of Animals  - Jessica Nichols, Madison, and Katherine Withington, Strongsville
Supporting American Servicemen and Women – Benjamin Montgomery, Middletown
Aiding the Disadvantaged – Ashley Buchanan, Racine
Teaching, Tutoring and Mentoring Other Young People – Karenna Elliott, Maineville, and Kennedy Ludlam, Chagrin Falls

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are supported by Girl Scouts of the USA, National 4-H Council, American Red Cross, YMCA, HandsOn Network (generated by the Points of Light Institute) and many other national youth, service and educational organizations. Learn more about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards at http://spirit.prudential.com.


Ohio Connections Academy is a free, fully-online virtual public school that students in grades K-12 attend from home. OCA delivers high-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers , a proven curriculum, as well as technology tools, and community experiences—online and in person—to create a supportive environment for children who want an individualized approach to education. More information about Ohio Connections Academy is available at www.OhioConnectionsAcademy.com.



About Ohio Connections Academy

Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) is a tuition-free, K-12 public eSchool that provides a fully accredited, high-quality and highly accountable virtual education experience for approximately 3,200 students from all over Ohio. OCA combines Ohio-certified teachers and a rigorous, individualized curriculum designed by national education experts and customized to meet the specific standards set by the Ohio Department of Education. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.OhioConnectionsAcademy.com. Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO) www.Pearson.com.