R-3’s Unruh recognized by National PTA

National PTA has recognized Gabriel Unruh of Platte County with the 2014 Youth Advocate of the Year Ambassador Award for his leadership and dedication to being a strong advocate for education and issues affecting children.Unruh was selected to receive the award among applicants from across the country. National PTA will honor Unruh with the award during the association’s 2014 Legislative Conference on March 12 during the PTA Takes Action Dinner at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. “Gabriel exemplifies what it means to take action for education and his peers,” said Otha Thornton, National PTA president. “His leadership, passion and dedication have made a difference to improve the lives and futures of Missouri and our nation’s children, and we are pleased to recognize him with the Youth Advocate of the Year Ambassador Award.” Unruh was selected to receive the award for his efforts to save the lives of youth by educating them on the dangers of texting while driving. Unruh organized a Kansas City “Arrive Alive” event that brought together school, community and law enforcement groups. As part of this effort, he oversaw more than 100 volunteers, wrote editorials on distracted driving that were published in Kansas City newspapers, and effectively used social media to promote the campaign. The “Arrive Alive” event was attended by more than 1,000 high school students and community members and received support from over 25 businesses and government agencies. The event was such a success that local non-profit organizations and two neighboring districts have approached Unruh for next year’s efforts. He is in the process of submitting to the Missouri Department of Transportation an official action plan and proposal to create a model “Arrive Alive” program for schools across Missouri. Unruh is a member of the Platte County High School PTSA. As the recipient of the award, he will serve as a youth ambassador for National PTA throughout 2014.