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Our very own Jared Waerea-Hargreavess work across various youth initiatives has earned him a nomination for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra, to be announced at the 2013 NRL One Community Awards, which will kick off the Telstra Premiership Grand Final Week.

The award, won last year by Cowboys Co-Captain Johnathan Thurston, recognises an NRL player who has demonstrated exceptional community service.

Waerea-Hargreaves is among 15 finalists including NRL Club Captains Michael Ennis (Bulldogs), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Terry Campese (Raiders), Nate Myles (Titans), Tim Mannah (Eels) and Billy Slater (Storm), as well as Joe Galuvao (Manly), Ben Ross (Sharks), Brent Tate (Cowboys), Scott Prince (Broncos), Clint Newton (Panthers), Lote Tuqiri (Wests Tigers) and Steve Rapira (Warriors).

Waerea-Hargreaves is studying to complete a Certificate IV in Youth Work with the aim of setting up his own charity in the future to help young people with hearing difficulties. He is also an Ambassador for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

I know how lucky I am to lead the life I do as a professional footballer, said Waerea-Hargreaves.

Many people dont have the same privileges I do and I like helping others in a positive way whenever I can.

At the Roosters, we all support the Steggles Roosters Charity Nest and have raised more than $1 million since 2010 for nominated childrens charities, which were all pretty stoked about.

I realise that young kids look up to me and other footy players and I really enjoy getting out in the community, visiting local schools and our Junior Leagues Clubs as often as I can.

Its an honour to be recognised by the Roosters for the Community Award, and to be nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal means so much to me. I feel proud to be considered for it.

The seventh annual NRL One Community Awards will be held on Monday, 30 September, at Sydneys Town Hall and is set to be an inspiring evening of celebration for the contributions made by NRLs unsung heroes including volunteers, grassroots clubs, teachers, students, and NRL players.

Every year Im blown away by the tireless contributions made by those in the grassroots Rugby League community, said NRL Interim Community, Culture and Diversity General Manager, Mr Mark deWeerd.

The game would not be at the level it is today without their support, dedication and commitment.

Since 1988 the Ken Stephen Medal has honoured the likes of ARL Commissioner, Wayne Pearce, Andrew Ettingshausen, Mark Coyne, Peter Sterling, Hazem El Masri, Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan, Sam Thaiday and last years winner, Johnathan Thurston, for their contributions to the game and the community.

The One Community Awards has a prize pool of over $50,000 across eight award categories including the Holden National Volunteer of the Year, Harvey Norman Women in League Achievement Awards (Professional and Volunteer), Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year, AAMI Service to Refereeing, AAMI Service to the Community Award, National Teacher of the Year (Primary and Secondary School) and the Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award.

The finalist for these awards will be announced soon.

The public will have a chance to vote for the winner of the Ken Stephen Medal, with the public winner earning one vote for the final judging stage. Voting for the Ken Stephen Medal will open at the end of the month.

The finalists for the 2013 Ken Stephen Medal presented by Telstra are:

Broncos - Scott Prince

Bulldogs - Michael Ennis (Captain)

Raiders- Terry Campese (Captain)

Cowboys- Brent Tate

Dragons- Ben Creagh (Captain)

Eels - Tim Mannah (Co-captain)

Knights - Kurt Gidley (Captain)

Sea Eagles - Joe Galuvao

Panthers - Clint Newton

Roosters - Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Sharks - Ben Ross

Storm - Billy Slater

Titans - Nate Myles (Co-captain)

Warriors - Steve Rapira

Wests Tigers - Lote Tuqiri

NB: The Rabbitohs have elected not to nominate one individual player for this award.

Telstra will give $5,000 to the winner and $5,000 to their favourite charity.