[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E167]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. JOHN SHIMKUS

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, February 13, 2019

  Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I rise to congratulate a young student 
from my district who has achieved national recognition for exemplary 
volunteer service in her community. Ms. Elizabeth Weidner of Dieterich 
has been named one of the top honorees in Illinois by the 2019 
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, an annual honor 
conferred on the most impressive student volunteers in each state and 
the District of Columbia.
  Ms. Weidner is being recognized for bringing attention to the tragedy 
of childhood cancer through a website, social media, speeches, lobbying 
efforts, the recognition she has received as a top contender in several 
pageants, as well as being an ambassador for this cause. I had the 
pleasure of meeting Ms. Weidner a short while ago. I came away from our 
discussion very impressed with her in-depth knowledge of government 
programs aimed at addressing childhood cancer as well as her passion 
and character.
  It's crucial that we encourage and support the kind of selfless 
contribution this young woman has made. People of all ages need to 
think more about how we, as individual citizens, can work together at 
the local level to ensure the health and vitality of our towns and 
neighborhoods. Volunteers like Ms. Weidner are inspiring examples to 
all of us, and are among our brightest hopes for a better tomorrow.
  The program that brought this young role model to our attention--The 
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards--was created by Prudential 
Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary 
School Principals in 1995 to impress upon all youth volunteers that 
their contributions are critically important and highly valued, and to 
inspire other young people to follow their example. Over the past 24 
years, the program has become the nation's largest youth recognition 
effort based solely on community service. It has honored more than 
125,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.
  Madam Speaker, Ms. Weidner should be extremely proud to have been 
singled out from the thousands of dedicated volunteers who participated 
in this year's program. I heartily applaud Ms. Weidner for her 
initiative in seeking to make her community a better place to live, and 
for the positive impact she has had on the lives of others. Her actions 
show that young Americans can--and do--play important roles in our 
communities, and that America's community spirit continues to hold 
tremendous promise for the future.