Ashburn's Taylor Klein Honored by Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Teen helped create an online film and social media campaign that raised $112,000 for childhood cancer research.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards named Ashburn’s 17-year-old Taylor Klein one of Virginia’s top youth volunteers of 2013 yesterday.

The national program honors middle and high school students across the country for their volunteer service.

Klein was chosen for the honor after working with a friend to create an online film and social media campaign that raised awareness of childhood cancer and the inadequate funding for childhood cancer research. The project raised more than $112,000.

The Broad Run High School senior was inspired by the child she babysat who was diagnosed with cancer. The video Klein and her friend made received more than 800,000 hits on YouTube and eventually a charity contacted them to help create a documentary.

The documentary, “The Truth 365,” tells the stories of families from all over the East Coast who have a child who battled cancer, including the family behind Journey4aCure, which honors the life of Declan Black Carmical.

“The Truth 365” details the battle against childhood cancers, as well as what people can do to help make a difference and raise more funding. To see the documentary, click here. 

Klein, along with Katherine Goodman, 12, of Ashland, were named Virginia’s state honorees in the program. They will each receive $1,000 engraved silver medallions and a four-day trip to Washington, DC to meet with 100 top youth volunteers from throughout the country for national recognition events.

There were six additional distinguished finalists from Virginia, including three from Northern Virginia, who will receive engraved bronze medallions. 

Finalists included:
• Kartik Gupta, 17 of McLean
• Ronald McCormack, 17, of Vienna
• Jason Cui, 17, of Great Falls
• Orion Dunbar, 17, of Chesapeake
• Kaleela Thompson, 13, of Hampton
• Jessica Vance, 17, of Blacksburg

To learn more about each of the honorees and distinguished finalists, click here. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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