Rock Island Student Receives Top Volunteerism Honor - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Student Receives Top Volunteerism Honor

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It is a high honor for a local high school senior who was named one of just two top youth volunteers of the year in Illinois by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Jasmine Babers, a Rock Island High School senior, was presented with that honor on Tuesday night.

Her volunteer work is all about helping the people around her succeed:

"I want them to know that they can accomplish anything," Babers said. "You are you, and that's the best version of yourself that you can be. And if that's who you are then that's who you are, and that's perfect."

But the 18-year-old girl saw first hand how badly her peers need to be reminded of that when her best friend was being bullied a few years ago.

Babers knew that she could be part of the solution, and created her own quarterly magazine, called "Love, GIRLS".

"'Love, GIRLS' is a self-esteem magazine for girls, by girls," she said. "The 'LOVE' stands for Lead, Overcome, Value, and Empower."

"It is a self esteem magazine so we do things from bullying and body image all the way up to fashion and makeup and fun things like that," Babers explained.

After securing the start up funds and teaching herself the ins and outs of magazine design, Babers published her first issue back in 2012. And the project has just grown from there.

It's now published in cities across the country, and more and more girls are contributing, being featured, and benefiting from the magazine.

"I had lots and lots of help. I definitely didn't do it alone," Babers said.

"It's already gotten bigger than i could have ever imagined," she added.

Her hard work has earned her a big recognition: A Prudential Spirit of Community award, from a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

She's one of only two people to receive the honor in the state.

"It's pretty exciting to think that all of this is for something that our daughter does in her spare time," said Jasmine's mother, Teresa. "So it's exciting and we're very proud of her."

For Jasmine, the real pride is in knowing what a difference her magazine has made for young ladies across the country and here in the QCA

"When I started it, I just wanted to make a difference in one person's life. and then every time somebody gets involved because of reading it or every time somebody says thank you to me because I started it, it's just like -- It's amazing, and I'm so grateful that I could do that for somebody else," she said.

As a state Spirit of Community Award honoree, Babers received an engraved silver medallion on Tuesday night, and she'll get a thousand dollars and a free trip to Washington, D.C. in May for a series of national recognition events.

She'll also have a chance at being selected as a national honoree. Click here to learn more about the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

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