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2012 Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning congratulates Andrew Hayford, 17 (center) and Carly Osgood, 14 (right), both of Cape Neddick, on being named Maine’s top two youth volunteers for 2012 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Maine Honorees
Andrew Hayford-High School State Honoree
Andrew Hayford, 17, of Cape Neddick, Maine, a senior at York High School, developed an education program to teach elementary school children about ocean pollution, and has mobilized more than 600 local residents to participate in annual beach cleanup events. Andrew spends a great deal of time at the beach – surfing, longboarding and swimming – and is concerned about the cleanliness of the ocean. “Garbage in our water is unsafe for humans and hazardous to marine life,” he said. “It degrades into smaller pieces and is ingested by animals and humans.” Inspired by the beach cleanups his older sister had organized when he was younger, Andrew felt he, too, should take the lead in working on clean water initiatives.
Realizing the importance of environmental education, Andrew proposed a “Keep Our Beaches Clean” campaign for kids in a local elementary school. He secured a grant from a foundation and delivered four presentations to 150 students in kindergarten through second grade about ocean pollution and endangered species. He also devised an art contest for the students, and made decals of the winning entries accompanied by clean water slogans to display on doors and windows of local businesses. Andrew also hosts the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup at two large beaches every year. He publicizes these events by writing articles for a newspaper, recruits friends and community members to take part, provides instructions on what to do, summarizes the data that’s collected and reports the results to the state of Maine. In addition, Andrew helps test the water quality of a local river every summer for the town of York.
Carly Osgood-Middle Level State Honoree
Carly Osgood, 13, of Cape Neddick, Maine, a member of the Girl Scouts of Maine and an eighth-grader at York Middle School in York, is an active volunteer who has worked with children as a mentor and camp counselor, helped grow fresh produce for food pantries and served her community in several other ways. Carly, who said that she loves working with kids, volunteers after school as a helper for a local elementary classroom, and spent her past two summers as a volunteer counselor for a group of 13 girls for the Girl Scouts’ Camp Scelkit. “I found that being myself every day and putting my all into camp and the kids gave rewards that were beyond my imagination,” she said.
Carly also helped create a garden that, over the past four years, has produced more than 17,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for three local food pantries. She weeded, cared for seedlings, helped with harvesting and delivery, and assisted younger garden volunteers. Carly has also mentored a student with autism, sewn hundreds of hats and blankets for the homeless, helped raise money to support a local firefighter with breast cancer and made toys for a local animal shelter. “Each project I get involved in, I participate with all my heart, because each project impacts a part of a life when they need it the most,” she said.
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