#Smiles: Riverton Middle School student receives prestigious award for community service

A series to share #smiles across our community through the achievements of our local youth, brought to you by Rendezvous Dental.

(Riverton, WY) – Riverton Middle School 8th grader Ellanie Forbis’ desire to help local animals in need is getting recognized on a national level.

In spring 2020, then-7th graders, Ellanie and Cambree Jevne worked together on a school community service project. Their idea was to help assist the PAWS For Life Animal League after several of their annual fundraisers were cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We made fashionable pet bandanas. We sold them on my mom’s Facebook page and at the Friday Night Cruise,” Forbis told County 10. “We made a total of $1,500 and we made 500 bandanas. We were up all night some days, it was a lot of work.” All of the money collected was donated to the animal shelter.

After the service projects went so well, an RMS staff member suggested that some of the students submit it for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The program recognizes youth community service efforts. Commitment to volunteer activities and academic metrics like grade point average are considered among many other factors to determine winners.

Over 21,000 applications across the country were submitted and only 101 winners were announced. Ellanie was one of them.

“They sent me a medal,” she explained about finding out she won. “I was super excited.”

The engraved silver medal wasn’t all, her award comes with a $2,500 scholarship. And, Forbis has qualified for a chance to win the President’s Volunteer Service Award to be announced later.

Ellanie told us that she hopes to be able to give back to her community, specifically PAWS, again soon. And, she was quick to give her project partner credit. “I think Cambree deserves this just as much as me.”

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