Sanam Rastegar, 17, of Weston was named one of Connecticut's top two youth volunteers for 2012 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Sanam, a senior at Hopkins School in New Haven, started an annual jump-roping fundraiser that has generated more than $100,000 for Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with serious illnesses. In the "Hop-A-Thon" students ask donors to sponsor them as they jump rope. The event has gained a permanent place on the school calendar, and over the past five years, has attracted support from hundreds of students and community members, and raised enough money to give more than 40 kids the chance to forget about their illnesses for a week and regain a part of their childhood at year-round programs of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. For more information about the camp, see www.holeinthewallgang.org.