Emily Dzialo, 17, of Middlefield was recently recognized as a Distinguished Finalist by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
A senior at and former student, Emily has raised more than $40,000 over the past seven years to benefit the March of Dimes, and has been named the fourth largest youth fundraiser on behalf of the organization in the United States.
Emily has raised the funds by writing countless letters, going door-to-door and securing corporate sponsorships for her participation in the annual March of Dimes Walk for Babies.
Last month, Emily was honored with the by the March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Spirit of Giving Celebration at the New Haven Lawn Club.
“I am deeply honored to have received this award. I believe that every baby deserves a healthy start and the March of Dimes has historically endeavored to achieve this. I am so proud to be apart of their mission,” Emily said.
Sanam Rastegar, 17, of Weston and Patrick Briscoe, 13, of Newtown were named Connecticut's top two youth volunteers for 2012, earning an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for several days of national recognition events.
"Through their selfless acts of service, these award recipients have greatly improved the lives of others," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. "We hope their stories and their dedication inspire other young people to do the same."
"We are so pleased to celebrate these student volunteers," said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. "It's important to highlight them as powerful examples of how young people can make a difference."
Emily will receive an engraved bronze medallion.