GHS senior earns national award for community service

Guilderland High School senior Qandeel B. Sial has received a national honor for her exemplary volunteer service in the district and throughout the Capital Region.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award was presented to Sial earlier this week. The award is part of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. In its 25th year, the awards honor middle school and high school students across the country who contribute time and energy to making their communities better places to live and work.

“Across the United States, young volunteers are doing remarkable things to contribute to the well-being of the people and communities around them,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “Prudential is honored to celebrate the contributions of these students, and we hope their stories inspire others to volunteer too.”

GHS principal Mike Piscitelli presented Sial with the certificate from Prudential. It is signed by the president of the United States. The school nominated Sial for the Spirit of Community Awards last fall.

Sial said her interest in community service began when she joined Key Club in her junior year at the high school. From there, she logged approximately 250 hours in ten months doing everything from serving cake at a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. to working one-on-one with more than 300 students at an afterschool program at Sheridan Preparatory Academy in Albany to working at the Altamont Food Pantry.

Her experience has not been all one-sided, the high school student says.

“Volunteering has increased my self-confidence and improved my skills of social interaction,” said Sial. “It truly makes me feel happy when I am a source of others’ happiness and when I’m trusted with all of these responsibilities.

“I believe that in the circle of life, an individual gets what they give. My heart truly feels satisfied after being a mentor to young kids,” she added.

Congratulations on this honor, Qandeel!

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