KINGSFORD - Mercedes Tappy has been named the Kingsford High School Volunteer of the Year in the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.
Mercedes is the daughter of Beth and Cal Tappy of Kingsford.
Sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the award recognizes outstanding community service by young Americans, said Rita Edberg, Scholarship Coordinator at Kingsford High School.
Tappy is now eligible for the Michigan youth volunteer of the year award. Two state honorees, one middle level and one high school student, will be named in February.
Each will receive a $1,000 award, a silver medallion and a trip to Washington, D.C., for recognition ceremonies with a parent or guardian next May.
Other honorees will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.
At the Washington event, 10 National Honorees will be named by a distinguished national selection committee, and each will receive an additional $5,000, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for his or her school, and a $5,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation for a nonprofit charitable organization of his or her choice.
"Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us," said John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. "We salute their dedication, their achievements, and their spirit of community."
Mercedes' high school career has been dedicated to volunteering.
She has earned more than 400 hours of volunteer service from the Iron Mountain Animal Hospital, Woodland Elementary Library, Woodland Elementary PTO, Almost Home Animal Shelter, and well as many other places.
She is a member of KHS National Honor Society, as well as KHS Outreach.
She has also served as a committee member for the KHS junior and senior classes.
Mercedes founded the AED Project group which raised money to buy Kingsford High School five AED units.
In addition to the various activities, Mercedes also works at Tri-City Cinema.
After graduation Mercedes plans to attend Bay College and transfer to Michigan State University to obtain her pre-veterinary degree.
"Mercedes commitment to volunteerism during her high school years to both her community and her school has been outstanding," said Lyle Smithson, principal of Kingsford High School.
"She has a true passion for giving to others. Her volunteerism includes helping at a local animal hospital which will help prepare her for her career as a veterinarian and raising funds to purchase multiple AED (automated external defibrillator) machines for the Kingsford School District," Smithson said. "Mercedes is a true example of a person giving freely of their time to improve the lives of others."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are supported by Girl Scouts of the USA, National 4-H Council, American Red Cross, YMCA of the USA, HandsOn Network (generated by the Points of Light Institute), and many other national youth, service, and educational organizations.