Two Connecticut teens among winners of national award for volunteering

Prudential Spirit of community awards: Alexandra Minutillo and Emily Christensen

(WTNH) – Two Connecticut teens are among the winners for a national award for their efforts in volunteering and helping the needy.

Alexandra Minutillo, 15, of Madison and Emily Christensen, 13, of Manchester are among several teenagers from across the nation that participated in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards event in Washington DC, where they were honored for their volunteer work.

(Photo: Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: Alexandra Minutillo)
(Photo: Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: Alexandra Minutillo)

Alexandra Minutillo is a sophomore at Daniel Hand High School and formed the nonprofit organization and club, Smiles for Smilow. The organization has raised over $10,000 to buy gifts for teenage patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Emily Christensen is an eight-grader at Illing Middle School and has raised more than $85,000 to benefit young cancer patients and their families by selling recycled crayons formed into interesting shapes and sizes.  She has created a nonprofit group “Crayons for Cancer” and she has estimated they they have helped at least 4,000 families.

If you would like to learn more about the charities these teens set up, you can visit their websites at and

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