GREAT FALLS — Great Fall High School student Eliot Latray was recently awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for his outstanding acts of community service.
”I saw in the Southwest, natives were getting hit hard by the coronavirus and I was just seeing if I could do anything to help the natives in my community. I’m part of the Blackfeet and Little Shell tribe and felt good helping my community,” said Latray.
Latray spent a month last fall finding PPE products to donate to students in the Little Shell Tribe and Blackfeet Head Start program.
“He donated masks and they were put into backpacks for our back to school drive. I think it was incredibly unselfish of Eliot to do. I wish we had more kids like this that were willing to step up and take responsibility and accountability and really want to do something for our members,” said Molly Wendland, health director of the Little Shell Tribe.
Latray also donated reusable water bottles to Morningside Elementary School for students to use while COVID-19 restricts the use of communal water fountains.
Morningside principal Kim DeFries is glad to see someone so young working for the community: “Elliot and his father came in with a huge box of the water bottles and it was great. it was so thoughtful I know he has done a lot for the community. For a teenager to have such compassion during this time to be able to donate that to the students was really exciting.”
The Prudential Spirt of Community Award is done annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals to honor students in grades 5-12 for making meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.
The award was presented to just two students in Montana; the other is Michael Anderson of Bozeman.
Latray will attend a virtual ceremony in April where he will receive a $2,500 scholarship and have the chance to be chosen as a top ten national honoree.