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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Farris Jr.
May 7, 2013 (540) 338-5600

Homeschooled Students Receive International Volunteering Awards

Prudential Spirit of Community recipients honored at ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC—Three homeschooled students, selected from thousands of entries, were honored for their community service efforts and recognized on May 6, 2013, at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Hui Jie (Rebecca) Chen, 15, of Yilan, Taiwan, Emma McDaniel, 13, of Inman, SC, and Emily Fabre, 12, of Salem, MA, are the newest in a long line of homeschooled students who offer real-life examples of the benefits of homeschooling.

“Research shows that homeschoolers are highly involved in their communities and in civic affairs, and that they academically outperform their private and public school counterparts,” said HSLDA President J. Michael Smith. “Congratulations to Chen, McDaniel, Fabre, and other homeschooled students who are shining examples of the value that homeschoolers add to their communities.”

Chen has raised more than $10,000 for the poor over the past six years; last year alone she donated nearly 5,000 pounds of rice to East Africa in response to a news report about famine on that continent. McDaniel uses her couponing skills to acquire food and hygiene items for those in need, hosts an annual fashion show that has raised over $8,000 for disadvantaged children, and gives speeches on using coupons to help others. Fabre collects recyclable bottles and cans to help a local agency fund a transportation service for senior citizens and has raised $1,500 so far, which has been used to buy new tires for the Council on Aging’s vans.

Tim Chen (no relation), leader of Taiwan Homeschool Advocates, stated that Rebecca Chen’s selection as an award recipient has stirred up significant media attention in Taiwan and created new interest in homeschooling. In Taiwan, 1,750 out of 3 million students are currently homeschooled.

“Through her recognition as one of the top youth volunteers in the world, Rebecca has dismissed the stereotype of homeschoolers as socially challenged and friendless,” noted Chen. “Her story has helped to raise awareness of homeschooling among the general public.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service and has honored hundreds of young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism since 1995.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 30-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.