James Rivas, a 19-year-old graduate of Payson Center for Success high school, has received the Prudential Spirit of Community award for his exemplary volunteer service.
Rivas earned the award through constant dedication and hard work in the Payson community. He participated in a wide variety of volunteer activities, from Adopt a Family to the 9/11 car wash.
His compassionate spirit motivated the community to help Darlene Martin's family when their Gisela home was destroyed by fire. Rivas took the initiative to bring people together to raise money, and to obtain furniture, toys, food and other things necessary to restore the family's life.
During his time at PCS, Rivas participated in just about every community involvement activity available. At the same time, he served as yearbook editor, student representative on the Site-Based Advisory Council, and as a member of the school leadership team.
"He goes above and beyond to assist where needed," PCS Principal Monica Nitzsche said. "James is a very exceptional young man."
Speaking of Rivas and others that received the Spirit of Community award nationwide, Prudential CEO Art Ryan said, "All of these extraordinary young people exemplify the spirit of the community that is so important to the future of our cities, towns and neighborhoods. By honoring them, we hope to not only give them the recognition they so richly deserve, but also to inspire others to follow their example."