DECATUR, Ala. – A Decatur High School student has been awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her efforts to raise funds for an all-girls school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
17-year-old Morgan Brannon was chosen as one of two recipients from Alabama.
When Brannon learned about the gender gap in education in the Congo through her Girl Scout troop, she decided she couldn’t stand idly by. She had already begun selling homemade body scrubs at Reeve’s Peach Farm in Hartselle to make a little extra cash, so she decided to ramp up production and use the proceeds to aid the education crisis. That’s when she rebranded her business as “Soak Up Education”. She had a banner made explaining her project and placed it next to her products in the store.
She got in touch with the Malaika School, an all-girls school in the Congo that teaches French and English to its students. So far, Morgan has raised over $2,500 for the school. She has been able to send them 72 backpacks, 350 pairs of socks and underwear, colored pencils and she’s currently shipping them three computers and sporting supplies.
Morgan says one of the most rewarding parts of her work has been receiving photos and videos from the school showing how much the students appreciate her donations.
“The first time I sent the backpacks, they sent me a video of the girls saying thank you and it made me tear up; it was a really sweet video,” Brannon said.
Morgan was nominated by her Girl Scout troop leader for the Prudential Spirt of Community Award earlier this year. The program is the nation’s largest youth volunteer awards program honoring students in grades 5-12 for outstanding volunteer service. The committee selects two students from each state to receive the award. Now, Morgan is being considered for the national award, which will be decided in April. The winner of that award will receive a $5,000 grant to continue their volunteer work. Brannon says if she were to win the national award, she would donate all of the money to the Malaika School.
If you would like to support Soak Up Education, you can purchase Morgan’s products online.
If you know someone in grades 5-12 who deserves recognition for their volunteer work, nominate them for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award.