The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.
The program’s goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. Over the past 20 years, more than 115,000 young people have been officially recognized for their volunteer efforts.
Local Honorees are selected at participating schools and organizations in November. From these winners, an independent judging organization names the top middle level and high school volunteer in each state and Washington, D.C. Results are announced in early February. Then, 10 National Honorees are chosen by a panel of prominent public figures, and announced at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., in May.
Any young person is eligible who:
- is in grades 5-12 as of November 8,
- is a legal resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.,
- has engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the 12 months prior to the date of application, and
- submits a completed application to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by November 8.
What do Honorees win?
Students chosen as Local Honorees receive a Certificate of Achievement from their schools or organizations. Those who qualify (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for older students) also receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
State Honorees receive an award of $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for national recognition events.
National Honorees receive an additional award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their schools or organizations, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a non-profit, charitable organization of their choice.
For more information, please visit Prudential Spirit of Community.
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