National awards program seeks top youth volunteers

Posted

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for South Carolina's top youth volunteers of the year.

Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months. The application is available at http://spirit.prudential.com and www.nassp.org/spirit.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, was created in 1995 to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle level and high school students. The awards have been granted annually for the past 22 years on the local, state and national level.

South Carolina's top youth volunteers of 2017 were Abigail McCarter, 18, of Greenville, and Harmonie Frederick, 11, of Columbia.

To apply for a 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:

- Students complete the online application by Nov. 7, 2017;

- Then, students submit the application for certification to their principal or head of a local participating organization; and

- Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select a local honoree to nominate for state-level judging by Nov. 17.

Applications can be certified by a middle or high school principal or head of a Girl Scout council, county 4-H organization, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or an affiliate of Points of Light's HandsOn Network. Students can request a paper application by calling (855) 670-4787.

On Feb. 6, 2018, the top middle level and high school volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia will be named state honorees. They will receive $1,000, engraved silver medallions and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian for four days of recognition events from April 28-May 1, 2018.

In Washington, a distinguished national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 state honorees as America's top youth volunteers of the year. These national honorees will receive additional awards of $5,000, gold medallions, crystal trophies for their nominating schools or organizations and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Several Distinguished Finalists in each state will receive bronze medallions, and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence. Local honorees selected by schools and participating organizations for state-level judging will be presented with Certificates of Achievement; they will also receive President's Volunteer Service Awards if they have served the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for older students).

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer community service and has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level over the past 22 years. The awards program also is conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China, Brazil and Poland, where Prudential has significant business operations.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education and student programs. NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society and National Student Council. For more information, visit www.nassp.org.

For more information on Prudential Financial Inc., visit www.news.prudential.com.