20th Annual Search Under Way for Nation’s Top Youth Volunteers

20th Annual Search Under Way for Nation’s Top Youth Volunteers

Over the past 19 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to more than 100,000 middle and high school students across the country for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through many other volunteer activities. Today, the search begins to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12 months, as the awards program kicks off its 20th year.

These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honor outstanding community service by students in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level.

“Prudential is proud to recognize young people who contribute to the well-being of their communities through volunteer service,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We look forward to honoring the nation’s top youth volunteers of 2015, and hope their stories will inspire others to consider how they can serve their communities.”

Young volunteers can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit. Applications must be completed by November 4, 2014, and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate. Paper versions of the application form are available by calling (877) 525-8491.

Participating schools and local organizations will select Local Honorees in early November and present them with Certificates of Achievement. These Local Honorees also will receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award if they have contributed the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (50 hours for age 14 and younger, 100 hours for those older). All Local Honorees are then reviewed by a state-level judging committee, which will name the top two candidates from each state and the District of Columbia – one high school student and one middle level student – as State Honorees on February 10, 2015. These State Honorees will receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent for four days of recognition events May 2-5, 2015. Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.

In Washington, a distinguished national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 State Honorees as America’s top youth volunteers of 2015. These National Honorees will receive $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.

“Across the United States, middle level and high school-aged volunteers are changing their communities for the better,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We are honored to celebrate the contributions of these young leaders.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represent the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. The awards program also is conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India and China, where Prudential has significant business operations.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

[Editors: Full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards program logo and medallions are available at http://spirit.prudential.com.]