The 2022 Youth Power and Hope Awards winners were announced at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives annual Recognition Banquet on Dec. 5, 2022, in Indianapolis, and it was a clean sweep for Hoosier Energy member cooperatives.
The awards program, coordinated by the staff of Indiana Connection magazine, has honored a select group of middle school students in grades 5-8 who are making an impact on their community since 2009. Each receives a $500 check to assist in furthering their community service activities.
The 2022 award winners were Asher Abner (Harrison REMC), Holland Beck (JCREMC), Josie Hartman (Decatur County REMC), Henry Spreckelson (Decatur County REMC) and Elizabeth Walden (Decatur County REMC).
Abner, a seventh-grader at North Harrison Middle School, is a member, volunteer and student leader in 4-H, is an altar server at St. Michael Church and participates in school and community service projects and events, including a blood drive for the American Red Cross. His favorite community project is one he does with his family, using the profit from selling the eggs of the family chickens to create “Birthday Bundles,” gift bags filled with cake mix, frosting, candles and other items to help those less fortunate celebrate special occasions that are often ignored. The bundles are donated to the Harrison County Community Services Food Pantry.
Beck is a seventh-grader at Franklin Community Middle School. She volunteers for Ascension St. Vincent Hospital and contributes time to events that raise funds for the hospital and its companion, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
Beck participated in a Young Entrepreneur class at school last year and after learning how to use a 3D printer in class made over 100 articulated animal figures as well as still figures such as castles and vases. She sold the items with proceeds going to help a local animal shelter.
Hartman is a sixth-grader at North Decatur Elementary School where she is a member of FOR-Club, which spotlight and encourages good deeds by students. One of her club projects was creating a Compliment Board to spread kindess at school. She also raised $500 for the United Fun by leading a snack sale for students. Hartman received her school’s Super Sixth Grader Award for her community spirit.
She has also led a canned food drive and planted flowers at her church. She also plants flowers at a local nursing home through her involvement in 4-H.
Spreckelson is a seventh-grader at Batesville Middle School. He is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, which conducts a camp for students in grades five and six each year to promote leadership and make good choices. Spreckelson also volunteers at the free movie and pool days sponsored by the club and local drug-free coalition.
He also assists his church with multiple events and serves mass while being an active 4-H supporter.
Walden is an eighth-grader at Greensburg Junior High School. She is an active member of her Girl Scout troop, sending positive letters to nursing homes and raising over $3,000 to purchase school supplies for children in Kenya by selling beaded jewelry with two of her friends. This past summer, Walden was able to visit the African country and work in the same school that benefitted from her donation.
She also delivers flowers and baking treats through her 4-H club, volunteers at her church and is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council.