Justin Horbacz ’16 was recently honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.
Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service.
Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.
Christian Brothers Academy nominated Horbacz for national honors this fall in recognition of his volunteer service.
Horbacz’s mission is to heighten attention for the number of children born with life-threatening illnesses in our country as well as to champion the importance of emotional therapy for those children. In support of the SeriousFun Children’s Network and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Horbacz organized and hosted a SeriousFun Swim Meet on July 29th, 2015, raising $10,000 for the charity and bringing awareness to the Monmouth and Ocean County communities.
“Experiences with my own life threatening chronic illness have given me a profound understanding of the need for emotional rehabilitation, said Horbacz in his application. “My goal is to…broaden the support for camps and programs that offer a “different kind of healing” to children whose lives have been negatively altered by various illnesses.”
“Justin truly exemplifies an ‘Academy Man’,” said R. Ross Fales, principal of Christian Brothers Academy. “…he [Horbacz] has used his abilities, personal experience and the opportunities he has had in his own life to help others in need. He helped to provide some of those opportunities to kids that otherwise may not have had them. One of the lines in our Academy Oath, an oath that all students take here at CBA, is “To serve and stand for those in need”; Justin has taken this to heart and gone above and beyond expectations. I would like to point out the comprehensive nature of his work in this case; Justin gives of himself by volunteering his time as a counselor at the camp, where he interacts with the kids, builds relationships and gives them hope by sharing his own experiences. He then separately organized and ran the SeriousFun swim meet and social media campaign in order to raise money and awareness for the camp. Justin has proven himself as a leader who also has the compassion to get involved on the ground level with those who’s cause he is championing. We’re proud to have him at Christian Brothers Academy.”
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.
“Prudential is honored to celebrate the contributions of these remarkable young volunteers,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “By shining a spotlight on the difference they’ve made in their communities, we hope others are inspired to volunteer, too.”
About The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp:
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman to give every child – no matter their illness – the chance to “raise a little hell.” Including their summer Camp in Ashford, Conn, the organization runs 9 programs that serve more than 25,000 kids and family members throughout the Northeast each year. Learn more at www.holeinthewallgang.org.
About SeriousFun Children’s Network
Founded by Paul Newman, the SeriousFun Childen’s Network is a growing global community of independently managed and financed camps and programs serving children with serious illnesses and their families. The name “SeriousFun” captures Paul’s belief in the power of taking fun seriously and was an expression he like and used. The mission is to create opportunities for children with serious illneses and their families to beyond illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities. Learn more atwww.seriousfunnetwork.org.