In February, Samia Smith was named an Arkansas State Honoree for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, recognizing youth who make a difference in their communities. This prestigious award is only given to two youth in each state and Samia proved to be more than deserving.

Through her involvement in clubs that prioritize community service, it’s instilled in Samia to make a difference. Among others, Samia’s involvement with Students Demand Action, Student Council, the Little Rock Mayor’s Youth Council and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site has kept volunteering at the forefront of her mind. She’s helped organize events to combat gun violence, created inclusive events for her classmates, helped facilitate writing over 200 voter registration postcards and gave tours at the National Historic Site pre-pandemic.

Among her favorite projects is #LRCHRemembersParkland. On February 14th, the anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Samia organized an event that focused on a celebration of love and remembrance. Honoring those affected in Parkland, students and staff gathered to pay their respects.

Volunteering isn’t something Samia does because she’s told she should. She does it because making a difference matters to her. “Volunteer work ensures that I’m making a positive change in my community- big or small. I enjoy interacting with those around me and building strong relationships with those I work with,” said Samia. “Being able to help educate and inform my community while doing something I love is the most incredible feeling!”

And as a cheerleader, she feels even more called to make a difference. “I feel it’s my job to lead by example and help in my community in any way I can,” said Samia. “Even when I hit bumpy roads while organizing tasks in different clubs, cheerleading has always served as a place to let go and rest from the stress of the outside world. I love my teammates and coaches; they’re my second family.”

When given the honor of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Samia was surprised, but thrilled. “Receiving the award reiterated that all of the work put into creating events and reaching out to my community were all worth it,” said Samia.

Keep up the great work Samia, you are making a difference every single day!