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ACLC Junior Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award for Advocacy

Bethany Kharrazi in Washington D.C. advocating for those living with Cystic Fibrosis. (Martin Kharrazi)

Bethany Kharrazi in Washington D.C. advocating for those living with Cystic Fibrosis. (Martin Kharrazi)

Bethany Kharrazi, 16, an 11th-grader at the Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC), has been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, granted on behalf of President Barack Obama, along with a Certificate of Excellence from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Both awards were given in recognition of her advocacy on Capitol Hill on behalf of her brother and 30,000 Americans living with Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system.

Bethany has successfully lobbied for the Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, Orphan Drugs, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Authorization Act, and the Ensuring Access to Clinical Trials Act (EACT), and has been the team leader for several fundraisers, including the Cycle For Life, a 25-60 mile bike ride. She is the youngest of five.

“Each year my confidence grows to speak publicly about my brother and the impact Cystic Fibrosis has had on him and our family,” said Bethany. “I love my brother, he’s one of the funniest, smartest and bravest people I know. I will continue fighting this fight, especially when he can’t,” Bethany said.

Bethany will be back in Washington D.C. again this year, making her rounds by bicycle on behalf of her brother and the cause. Her brother, Jeremy Kharrazi, is an ACLC alum, a founding player of Alameda’s ‘Dark Meat’ Ultimate Frisbee team and a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

The President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize those who have volunteered significant amounts of time serving their communities and their country. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service. Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Awards nominees in each state and the District of Columbia.

“These students have not only improved their communities though their exemplary volunteer service, but also set a fine example for their peers,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director of NASSP. “Each of their stories is proof of the impact one young person can have when they decide to make a difference.”

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