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Freshman receives governor's volunteer service award


May 04, 2011

Annica Benning, a freshman in Barrett, The Honors College and the W.P. Carey School of Business, received the Governor’s Volunteer Youth Service Award on April 19 for her commitment to fostering understanding between Native American and non-native youth.

Benning wrote “Arizona: Nations and Art” while still in high school as a way to educate the public on Native American art and culture while dispelling stereotypes. Last year, a copy of the book was given to every fourth grade student, school library and public library.

Eleven recipients were honored with the award, which is considered the highest volunteer award in the state. Benning won in the youth category.

“The best thing about volunteering is that everyone can do something, and even the smallest contribution of time and effort can make a world of difference in the lives of others,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “These awards are a token of Arizona’s gratitude to those among us who give of themselves to help others in need.”

Award recipients were selected by a panel of judges based on criteria of need, action, innovation and impact. The winners were honored at a luncheon hosted by the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism in Phoenix.

“I feel it is important to create understanding and promote literacy, as well as community service,” says Benning. “I had no idea, when I began, how doing something for others would completely change my life and how great it would make me feel.”