St. Louise de Marillac

• Patrick Weldon, an eighth-grade student at St. Louise de Marillac School in Upper St. Clair, was named one Pennsylvania’s top youth volunteers of 2021 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, America’s largest youth volunteer recognition program.

As a state honoree, Patrick will receive a $2,500 scholarship, a silver medallion and an invitation to the program’s virtual national recognition celebration in April, during which 10 of the 102 state honorees will be named America’s top youth volunteers of the year. Those 10 national honorees will earn an additional $5,000 scholarship, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their nominating organization, and a $5,000 grant for a non-profit charitable organization of their choice.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honors students in fifth through 12th grades for making meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

Weldon was honored for his “Art For Heart” program that provides artwork created by his fellow classmates to senior citizens, nursing home residents and hospital patients.

Last summer, Patrick and his mother delivered lunch to senior citizens every week through the Meals On Wheels program. During each delivery, Patrick would include a card he made himself.

When school resumed in the fall, Patrick could no longer deliver the Meals On Wheels lunches, but he didn’t stop caring about the seniors he met and worrying about how isolated they were during the pandemic.

He then recalled how much art was produced by students in art classes at his school, and that most of it was discarded after being graded. So Patrick asked for support from his art teacher and principal, and began contacting nursing homes, a local hospital, and several monasteries.

They overwhelmingly agreed that seasonal artwork from school children might lift their residents’ spirits. Patrick now makes frequent art deliveries to eight facilities in his area.

Upper St. Clair

• Five Upper St. Clair students will advance to the 71st annual Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee, scheduled for March 13. This year’s event will be held virtually.

Qualifying for the regional competition by finishing first in their schools’ spelling bees were Finley Garvey, Baker Elementary; Divya Singh, Eisenhower Elementary; Lindsey Fitzgerald, Streams Elementary; Raana Parchuri, Boyce Middle; and Rohan Mehta, Fort Couch Middle. The school-level spelling bees, open to students in fourth through eighth grades, were sponsored by the Upper St. Clair Parent Teacher Council.

Students throughout a 26-county region will compete at Robert Morris University. The winner of the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee will have the opportunity to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will take place in the summer.

Last year, Upper St. Clair’s Raana Parchuri, then a fourth-grader at Baker Elementary, was crowned champion at the 70th annual Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee, which was held in March at Robert Morris University. Although Raana qualified to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Scholarship applications will soon be available at Upper St Clair High School guidance office. The Woman’s Club of Upper St. Clair invites all seniors living in the township to apply for a scholarship, even if attending other schools. Applications must be received by March 26.

Call 412-854-4955 for information.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!