Cedar Creek High School student David Kuc has been honored with a President's Volunteer Service Award, one of the country's most prestigious awards given to exemplary teenage volunteers in the United States.
The award, which recognizes citizens who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.
Kuc, 18, is a Galloway Township resident who attends Cedar Creek under one of the school's magnet programs.
The high school was notified in February that the White House had recognized Kuc as an honoree. Cedar Creek Principal James Reina presented Kuc with his official certificate and a signed letter from President Barack Obama.
"We are certainly proud to have a student like David at Cedar Creek High School," Reina said. "I think his achievement shows the type of involvement and commitment teenagers have outside of school. Sometimes people lose sight of their significance in the community."
The President's Volunteer Service Award is issued by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.
This specific award is given to certain people who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service and civic participation over the course of a 12-month period.
"It is really an honor to get this recognition, and it's kind of humbling," said Kuc, who has a long history of community service.
The honor student said he never considered his volunteer work as anything extraordinary, just something he is naturally drawn to.
Kuc became involved in the Boy Scouts of America program in grade school and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012. He credits his involvement with scouting for inspiring him to make a difference in his community. His service record includes volunteering with programs such as Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs for youth, Adopt-A-Road, National Night Out, Make A Difference Day, the Red Cross Blood Bank and Galloway Township Elks activities.
He also stays involved as much as he can with Boy Scout Troop 97 in Oceanville, which is sponsored by the Cape Atlantic Marine Corps League, and where he earned his Eagle Award.
To earn his Eagle, Kuc led the local Project Porchlight initiative, a national program to educate the public about the benefits of using CFL bulbs to reduce the nation's carbon footprint. Kuc distributed 1,000 CFL bulbs throughout the community and his efforts netted him the program's Stellar Volunteer Award, which is reserved for only a small percentage of high-achieving volunteers.
The 12th-grader also is active in school activities such as National Honor Society, Science Club, Science League and the stage crew.
An outdoor enthusiast, Kuc said he plans to study biology in college after his high school graduation.
His parents, Susan and David Kuc, said they are extremely proud of their son.
"The principal told us that he remembers only one other time a student received this type of honor, which really impressed us," Susan Kuc said.
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