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President, Utah Lt. Gov. recognize 2 Utah teens for service

President, Utah Lt. Gov. recognize 2 Utah teens for service



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SALT LAKE CITY -- When President Obama made the call this summer for Americans to volunteer, two Utahns answered. The teenagers ended up with over 140 hours of service.

Amber Barron, 13, and Carlos Vinatea, 14, were recognized for their service with the Presidential Service Award and lunch with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell. The two had the most hours of volunteering, as part of Summer of Service -- a national effort meant to get more Americans to help out.

Amber spent her summer writing, trying to get an educational club at her school for women and minorities.

"I wrote the grant asking for money, ‘cause the state wouldn't fund us ‘cause we didn't have the minority population," Amber explained.

She didn't get the money she asked for, but she said she will try again.

Carlos spent his summer in Park City tutoring.

"We helped elementary kids stay intact so they don't forget their learning over the summer. And since most of them are minorities, so they don't forget their English, since many of them wouldn't be speaking," Carlos said.

Both students said they had a lot of fun doing it. And even with all their hard work, they still had time to hang out with friends.

The pair also got a letter from the president, thanking them for their service to the country and encouraging them to continue.

Amber and Carlos weren't the only Utahns who volunteered when President Obama asked. As part of the Summer of Service, Utahns donated more than 1,400 hours of service to the state, worth more than $10,000.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

Amanda Butterfield

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