EL DORADO, Ark (02/21/20) — An El Dorado teen was one of two people in the state named Arkansas’ top youth volunteers of the year.
Emmaline Landes, 17, received the recognition from Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honors middle level and high school students nationwide for outstanding volunteer service.
Emmaline, a senior at El Dorado High School, has raised more than $16,000 since 2013 for nonprofit agencies and various causes by selling or donating more than 300 pieces of her original artwork.
At age 11, Emmaline began painting portraits of animals at a local shelter, which were then auctioned at the shelter’s annual ball. Her first painting sold for $500.
“I remember I was in an art show at the arts center and then I started selling my work after that,” Landes said.
The money she’s raised has benefited local organizations including the Union County Animal Protection Services and national causes that have impacted her friends and family.
“When I hear a need in the community, I try to find a way to help,” she said. “You can make a difference even it feels like you’re doing something small but it can go a long way.”
Landes is a senior at El Dorado High School. She hopes to continue her passion for art and helping others by pursuing a career in art therapy.
As a state honoree, Landes will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where they will join the top two honorees from each of the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events.
During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2020.