J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for Pau Gasol

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol won National Basketball Association’s Walter Citizenship Award. Gasol came across important crossroad where decided to pursue professional basketball or career in medical. His charity work with UNICEF and children’s hospital, his family is from medical back ground (Spanish).

What is Citizenship Award?

Being a good citizen is not given importance while you study in school or college. As a citizen responsibility is to exhibit good citizenship skills, productive to the country and caring for the society. Citizens respect others, respect others and also they respect the environment.

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) together administer the American Citizenship Award.

This award is an attractive lapel pin that is presented to any student in elementary, middle, high school, special events or recognition banquets. This will help inspire enthusiastic school spirit, strengthen self-esteem, building responsible and knowledgeable citizens and also volunteerism.

There is not certain rule or regulation that who should get American Citizenship Award.
– Services in school or community
– Positive attitude toward classmates, school and community
– Understanding civic responsibility
– Strengthening the character to do what is right.

”It’s a great honor for any player to receive,” Gasol said. ”It should be an honor for any player to have the opportunity to give back and to make the community better, be a role model to all the other kids and people. I think it’s very important when you have that opportunity, you take advantage of it. You maximize it.” Over past seven years Gasol has travelled with UNICEF to raise awareness on health care for children, program related to nutrition and also education.

Gasol’s father was medical administrator and his mother was physician. Pau was born in Barcelona; he took pre-med program as a teenager, but gave up his studies when his basketball career took off.

Gasol said. ”To me, that’s above and beyond basketball. Obviously, basketball has allowed me to have these opportunities, and that’s why I feel so fortunate, but to me it’s much stronger, much more powerful than the basketball game.”

Pau has released iBook about benefiting UNICEF in three different languages. He also is planning for another project with UNICEF once he finishes London Olympics.

Last year it was another Los Angeles Lakers player Ron Artest to win J. Walter Kennedy. He got this award for his work in mental health awareness, now he is known as Metta World Peace.

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