The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program annually honors middle and high school students across the U.S. for helping to improve their communities through volunteer activities. The program's goals are to applaud young people who are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.
Sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the awards honor outstanding community service performed during the previous year by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state, and national levels.
To be eligible, a young person must be in grades 5-12 as of November 5, 2013; be a legal resident of any U.S. state or the District of Columbia; have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the twelve months prior to the date of application; and submit a completed application to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by the November 5 deadline.
Participating schools and local organizations will select local honorees in November and present them with Certificates of Achievement. 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 in February 2014. State honorees will each receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip (with parent) to Washington, D.C., in May 2014 for recognition events. Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.
In Washington, a national selection committee will name ten of the one hundred and two state honorees as America's top youth volunteers of the year. These national honorees will each 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 the nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.