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State honors Christopoulos

Hardin Valley Academy student and Farragut resident Xrista Christopoulos was presented an award for community service by Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill at a Board meeting Thursday, March 25.

Christopoulos was recipient of Prudential Financial’s “2010 Prudential Spirit of Community Award” for her work creating bedroom makeovers for critically ill children.

The bedroom makeovers are done through “Special Spaces,” a non-profit organization creating dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“It gives them a special space, a space to get away from doctors, tests and treatments, and everything that comes from having a critical illness,” Christopoulos said.

“It gives them hope and joy … it makes them feel extra-special,” she added.

Christopoulos has been involved in creating 25 such dream spaces during the last five years, and currently is working with Hardin Valley’s student government association to continue the projects on a yearly basis.

HVA’s student government hopes to raise enough funds to complete two room makeovers a year, focusing on critically ill teenagers.

“We really hope to keep this momentum, and keep this an established project,” Christopoulos said, continuing even after she and others have graduated and moved on.

Christopoulos is the daughter of Christos and Xrisanthe Christopoulos of Farragut and is a sophomore at HVA.

The Prudential award is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Christopoulos said she was honored to be named a recipient of the award.

“Honestly, I just did it for the experience: filling out the applications and everything. I wasn’t expecting to make it as far as I did.

“I was reading the winners from last year and they were pretty phenomenal. It’s a great honor, and I’m really happy I was able to receive this award,” she said.

Christopoulos said she hoped the award encourages others in the Knoxville area to become involved with community service projects.

For Christopoulos’s work with Special Spaces, the Tennessee Legislature also passed House Resolution No. 247 recognizing her “exemplary character, integrity and hard work.”

Christopoulos also was recipient of President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Gold Award.


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