For the second time in as many years, senior Arvind Sridhar has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President's Volunteer Service Award, granted on behalf of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Arvind founded Geography for Tomorrow in 2013, with the mission of spreading geo-literacy and providing equal educational opportunities for underserved, minority youth and their communities. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization began by offering no-cost programs in schools, libraries and community centers for local elementary through high school students, and has grown nationally and internationally, to include chapters in Ohio, Texas, Ecuador and New Zealand. Activity and certification programs, led by Geography for Tomorrow volunteers as well as available online, cover topics including geography and geo-literacy, space sciences and geography, and geocoding and mapping technologies.
"At the beginning of his sophomore year, Arvind came to me to share his love of geography, and propose a geography club at Bellarmine. This club developed into Geography for Tomorrow (GFT)," noted Mr. Steve Pinkston, director of our Christian Service program. "Each week of the school year and the summer, members of the GFT club go to middle schools and emergency assistance programs to spread geography learning. Arvind pursues any and all assistance he needs to promote geography education to students in socio-economically disadvantage communities. Whether it is getting resources from National Geographic, gathering a team of 30+ dedicated students to serve as geography mentors, knocking on my door to secure a school van (and faculty driver) to take tutors out to instruct young students, he will do what needs to be done to accomplish his goal of spreading geography knowledge. He is a mover and a shaker who is fully focused and determined, and is never deterred."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP), honors young people across the United States for outstanding volunteer service. Volunteer activities are judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth. Certificate of Excellence awards are granted to the top 10 percent of all applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.
President's Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.