WASHINGTON — A pair of Las Vegas Valley teens recognized Monday for their volunteer work on behalf of diabetic children and children in foster care said their work is far from over.
Mollie Singer, 18, a senior at Nevada High School in Henderson, and Heather Wilder, 13, a seventh-grader at Becker Middle School, were honored separately among 10 top youth volunteers nationwide at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Wilder wrote a series of booklets based on her experience as a foster child to help others deal with the hardships of the foster system. The booklets have been distributed through the state Department of Child and Family Services and other local agencies.
Singer, diagnosed with diabetes at age 4, has raised more than $100,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by recruiting participants for the foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes and organizing events like luncheons and picnics. She has also started a support group for diabetic children.
Both plan to build on their work.
Wilder said she’s writing the next installment in her series to help foster children deal with challenges like adoption and moving into new homes.
“They (foster children) think they’re the only ones going through the system,” she said. “So I write the books so they know they’re not alone.”
Singer, who will start at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Honors College in the fall, said she plans to promote the Walk to Cure Diabetes among university students.
“UNLV is a huge school, so hopefully we can get as many people as possible involved,” she said.
Wilder and Singer will receive personal awards of $5,000, engraved gold medallions, crystal trophies for their schools and $5,000 grants for charities of their choice.
The Las Vegans were recognized by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.