WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tennessee’s top two youth volunteers of 2019, Kennedy Musgrave, 18, of Nashville, and Courtney Good, 12, of the Kingsport area, each were honored in the nation’s capital Sunday night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 24th annual presentation of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Musgrave and Good, along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country, received a $1,000 award and personal congratulations from award-winning actress Viola Davis at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), named Musgrave and Good the Volunteer State’s top high school and middle level youth volunteers in February. In addition to their cash awards, each received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events.
Good, a sixth-grader at Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee in Blountville, started collecting food for families tending to their hospitalized children when she was 3 years old and recently began using her story of surviving an extremely premature birth to help the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) raise money for sick kids. Good weighed only 1 1/2 pounds when she was born 15 weeks prematurely. She spent the first four months of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit and had to return to the hospital a few more times in the following years. She recalled how her family had to spend Christmas in the hospital with her one year, and she wanted to do something for other families in a similar situation. With her parents’ help, Good came up with a plan for Courtney’s Food Wagon and began collecting food donations so that families don’t have to leave the hospital to eat.
To promote the project, she handed out fliers, participated in a parade, got her school involved and hosted a Facebook page. Every Christmas since, she has delivered pre-packaged food to the family kitchen of the pediatrics unit and NICU at the hospital where she was born. Because of her charitable work and her birth story, Good was selected to be a CMN ambassador last year. In that role, she has spoken at press conferences, appeared in advertisements and participated in fundraising events. In addition, her face has been featured throughout 22 Walmart stores, which have raised more than $220,000 for CMN.
“I love that my story is helping to raise money for sick children,” she said. “I hope that families with sick children can see how healthy I am now and it will give them hope.”
For more information about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year’s honorees, go online to http://spirit.prudential.com or online to www.nassp.org/spirit.