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Weirton student named one of West Virginia's top youth volunteers

Chloe Orecchio of Weirton was named one of West Virginia’s top two youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Chloe Orecchio of Weirton was named one of West Virginia’s top two youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

As a State Honoree, Chloe will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in May. During the trip, she will join the honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. In addition, ten of the State Honorees will be named American’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2019 during the trip.

Chloe, 11, is a sixth-grader at Weirton’s St. Joseph the Worker School. She organized a monthly clean-up program to keep her school campus free of litter.

During her ride to school each morning, Chloe started noticing litter alongside the road and in the schoolyard.

“All of the trash on our campus made our community look very dismal,” she said. “I told my parents that someone should clean it up.”

Chloe’s father asked her to come up with a solution, which resulted in “Chloe’s Campus Clean-Up” plan.

She explained her plan to the St. Joseph School Board, which approved it immediately, and then recruited other students to form a clean-up team.

The first clean-up collected four garbage bags of trash from the grounds of Chloe’s elementary school and a high school and church across the street. Now, she schedules a clean-up on the third Saturday of every month.

“It has made a big difference on the campus,” she said. “No litter to be found!”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 24th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. It is the largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service in the U.S. Since the program began in 1995, more than 125,000 volunteers have been honored at the local, state, and national level.

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