FORT WALTON BEACH — A local teen has been named one of 20 winners of the Community Spark Award for her community service work.

Jayruh Miller, 14, of Fort Walton Beach, was recognized by TruStage — a national insurance company — for taking strides to improve her community through volunteer activities.

Motivated by her love for animals, Jayruh began volunteering at a private, no-kill shelter in Alaska when she was 12 years old, according to a news release from TruStage.

After moving to Florida, she continued volunteering at a local animal shelter, and her passion to help others in need also inspired her to help people, including organizing a food drive in aid of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Jayruh now volunteers at a local food pantry run by Catholic Charities. Her work with Catholic Charities has reached hundreds of people, not only at Fort Walton Beach but in Panama City, where she travels to on Saturdays with a smile on her face to help those in need after Hurricane Michael, the release said.

In recognition of Jayruh’s efforts, TruStage donated $1,000 to Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida’s Fort Walton Beach Food Pantry in support of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27.

The online awards competition ran Oct. 30 to Nov. 13. Parents, guardians, relatives, teachers and friends were invited to nominate a child 17 years old or younger who demonstrates a strong spirit along with commitment and dedication to giving back to their community.

The winners were selected by a panel of their peers from the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, serving the Madison area of Wisconsin, according to the release. Nominations included kids who volunteer to feed and clothe the less fortunate, provide recognition for veterans, increase opportunities for the disabled, preserve historic cultures and find better homes for animals.