Kirsten Schroer, a Girl Scout from Brainerd and student from Brainerd High School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with the President's Volunteer Service Award for her efforts to educate the public about distracted driving. Schroer's project also earned her the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a high school girl can earn.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the president's council on Service and Civic Participation.

For her service project, Schroer wanted to educate her community about distracted driving naming her campaign: One Text or Call Could Wreck it All. She presented to various groups, including schools, Girl Scout troops, and was able to reach over 500 adults and young people. During her project, she was able to arrange a simulator that helped people see how they would drive under the influence of alcohol, or while texting.

"I learned that if you want to educate others about a topic that you're passionate about, you have to take the first step," Schroer said in a news release. "My community embraced the change I was trying to make and shared my story with others. I advocate for people who don't usually share their side of the story, no matter how devastating it is."

Leigh Ann Davis, Girl Scout CEO, noted "Kirsten has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to make the world a better place by educating her peers and the community about the dangers of distracted driving. She has shown courage in taking a stand on an issue, confidence in countless presentations, and character through learning and growing throughout the process."

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines' mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouting is open to all girls in kindergarten through grade 12. To join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 320-252-2952 or 800 955-6032 or visit girlscouts.org.