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Oxford Middle School student Hassell Wilkinson Jr. recognized for tutoring fellow classmates

An Oxford Middle School student was recognized Wednesday in front of his peers during the school’s annual year-end award ceremony for the help he provided to many of those same classmates.

Hassell John Wilkinson Jr., an eighth-grader at Oxford Middle School, was presented with an engraved bronze medallion in recognition as a Distinguished Finalist for Mississippi in the 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Wilkinson, son of Hassell and Taylor Wilkinson, was one of the first students to volunteer with his school’s inaugural peer tutoring program, where his responsibilities have ranged from understanding different learning styles and making study skills videos to teaching English to students learning it as a second language. Since it started last school year, Wilkinson has supported the program as it’s grown to help 50-100 students a month.

“I think it’s good to give of your gifts,” Wilkinson told the EAGLE Wednesday. “Tutoring is a way for me to give back to the community and help others who may be struggling in school.”

Wilkinson said he provided tutoring to students in several areas but mostly for math.

“Ms. Elliott (librarian at OMS) told me about the award, and she said I should apply, so I did,” he said.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is a youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. All middle and high schools in the U.S., along with all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network, are eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Winners are judged on personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

Gerald Emerson, a financial advisor with Prudential, presented Wilkinson with the bronze medallion.

“Thousands were considered across the nation … and only a select few are chosen for special recognition,” Emerson said.