Allison Tu is a senior at duPont Manual High School
A Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) student has been named one of America’s top ten youth volunteers by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of community service.
Allison Tu, a senior at duPont Manual High School, earned the award for a youth-driven initiative she launched to raise awareness about student mental health issues and find ways to combat the high rates of depression, anxiety and suicide among young people in Kentucky.
Tu launched the organization called "StAMINA" (Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action); sought support from student leaders throughout Kentucky as well as key adults in government, healthcare and education; and obtained more than $100,000 in grants to fund her initiative.
Her group has assembled rural and urban focus groups to gain student and parent perspectives on mental health needs and sponsored youth summits to discuss pertinent issues and train youth advocates. In addition, Tu has spoken about her organization at conferences around the country, was a panelist on the district’s recent Bullying & Suicide Prevention Summit and has lobbied state legislators for increasing mental health professionals in schools.
America’s top ten youth volunteers were selected from a field of more than 29,000 middle and high school youth volunteers nationwide, and then from 102 state honorees, based on their initiative, effort, impact, and the personal growth demonstrated in the course of their volunteer service.
The national honorees each receive $5,000 personal awards, engraved gold medallions, crystal trophies for their schools, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for charities of their choice. Learn more here.