Ella Parker, a nine-year-old elementary school student from Owosso, and Sierra Price, a junior at Laingsburg High School, are among the 10 finalists for the ePIFanyNow Youth Passing It Forward (Y-PIF) award. The Y-PIF award is ePIFanyNow’s annual youth recognition initiative which honors kids in grades kindergarten through 12th-grade who are passing kindness forward and making positive contributions to their communities. Ella was selected as a finalist due to her work with the Shiawassee Respite Volunteers and for creating gift baskets during the holidays, while Sierra made the cut after forming a free tutoring service to help fellow students struggling with academics.

   Rounding out the field of 10 finalists are Ava Abood from Haslett Middle School; Ian, Easton and Greer Anderson from Bay City; Neia Handy from Lansing; Sawyer Hendrickson from Ludington; Jackson Northwest School’s Be More Kind Club; Jackson Northwest School’s Give Hope Disaster Relief; Asia Jones from Mason High School; and Team Paws, a group of 30 3rd-grade service workers from Bay City’s MacKensen Elementary.

   The top ten submissions for 2020 are highlighted online at www.epifanynow.org, where the public can vote for their favorite Y-PIF award nominee(s). Each vote costs $1 and will be collected via Stripe using a credit or debit card. All monies raised during the voting will be given to the applicants’ chosen charity. The voting window will close on Tuesday, June 30.

   ePIFanyNow, which holds annual events to encourage people to go out into the community and commit random acts of kindness, accepted nominations for young leaders who are using their time, talents and treasures to benefit and enhance the lives of others.

   Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the ePIFanyNow annual party at the MSU Federal Credit Union’s main headquarters has been canceled for 2020. Instead, ePIFanyNow will move forward with the online voting process and award a Y-PIF award winner virtually later this summer.

   Winners will be determined by points given by the selection committee during the initial review process. Those will be worth 60 percent of the score. The final 40 percent of the score will be based on the amount of money each finalist raises through the duration of online voting.

   This year, MSU Federal Credit Union will present one of the Y-PIF finalists with its Desk Drawer Fund Scholar Award, which includes a $150 scholarship toward the winner’s project for further development. Founded in April 2019, the Desk Drawer Fund is a foundation that was created to serve nonprofit organizations in the MSU and OU communities through the five pillars of Arts & Culture, Stable Housing, Empowering Youth, Financial Education and Fostering Entrepreneurialism.

   For finalists who are not selected as the Y-PIF award winner, all monies raised through the online voting process will still be awarded to the charities noted in those participants’ applications.

   For questions, please contact ePIFanyNow at ePIFnowpif@gmail.com or (517) 798-6503.

Two Local Students in the Running for Statewide Award was last modified: June 8th, 2020 by Karen Elford