Sixth grader Keith receives award

Sixth grader Olivia Keith receives Prudential Spirit of Community award from Reggie Jackson. (Photo by Beth Taylor)
Sixth grader Olivia Keith receives Prudential Spirit of Community award from Reggie Jackson. (Photo by Beth Taylor)

By Beth Taylor

On Feb 23 at the HSE school board meeting, Olivia Keith, a sixth grade student at Sand Creek Intermediate School, was presented with a Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This award honors students who strive to enrich their communities Keith was nominated by Principal Brent Farrell.


Olivia was inspired to raise awareness about preventing traumatic brain injuries from personal experience—both of her parents have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Having seen the challenges her parents face every day, Keith wanted to educate young people about brain injury prevention. Keith has contributed in a variety of ways. She gives presentations at schools, provides tips for preventing brain injury on her website and Facebook page, and has created a game to teach kids safety tips. She has handed out 20 bicycle helmets at a school health fair last year, and received a $1,000 grant to distribute additional helmets. Keith organized a bowling team to participate in the annual Brain Injury Association of America fundraiser, raising $70,000 for brain injury education.

“From the middle school, Olivia is our top middle school level recipient for her outstanding service to her community,” said Prudential Financial Manager Reggie Jackson, who presented the award. “Your commitment and compassion represent the high ideals represented by this award.”

The award is sponsored by Prudential Financial and The National Association of Secondary School Principals. Keith was one of two Indiana recipients. Along with the medallion presentation, Keith wins a trip to Washinton, D.C. and a $1,000 prize.

“On behalf of Sand Creek Intermediate, Olivia is an example for all of us on how to think of others before ourselves,” said Farrell.

At the meeting, Keith also announced her new community project—providing belts for IPS students who need them so that the students don’t get suspended.

“Olivia has a heart for kids and can relate to kids to help make them aware of how to prevent brain injuries,” said her mom,” Darcy Keith.