About the Program

Program Overview

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 19 years, more than 370,000 young Americans have participated in the program, and more than 100,000 of them have been officially recognized for their volunteer efforts.

We promote great deeds for youngsters across the United States of America, and welcome entrants also from across the world. Our list of extra locations is found below.

If you would like to find out more about us, do not hesitate to contact us .

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is also conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, and China, where Prudential has significant business operations.
How does the program work?
In the United States, each program year begins in September, when information and application instructions are mailed to all middle level and high schools in the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., and to the following officially designated local organizations: Through these schools and local organizations, students are encouraged to complete an online application by November 4.

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. 

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Who is eligible?
Any young person who:
  • is in grades 5-12 as of November 4,
  • 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 4.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility.

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What qualifications must be met?
The application must:
  • describe an individual's community service activity or an individual's significant leadership in a group activity that has taken place during the previous year,
  • be completed and submitted to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by November 4, and
  • be certified by the principal of a middle level or high school or the head of an officially designated local organization. These individuals should review implementation instructions carefully.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Applications by students and by schools.

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What do honorees win?
  • Students chosen as Local Honorees receive a Certificate of Achievement from their schools or organizations. Those who qualify (50 hours of service for age 14 and younger, 100 hours for those older) 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.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Awards.

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What happens in Washington?
The national recognition events held in Washington, D.C., for the 102 State Honorees include gala award ceremonies at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tours of the capital's historic monuments and landmarks, Congressional visits on Capitol Hill, a festive dinner cruise on the Potomac River, and plenty of opportunity for the State Honorees to share their experiences and ideas with one another.

The honorees also hear from notable public figures. Past speakers have included Jimmy Carter, Barbara Bush, Mario Cuomo, Magic Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, John Glenn, Madeleine Albright, Martin Sheen, Rudy Giuliani, Whoopi Goldberg, Colin Powell, Ted Danson, Peyton Manning, Sarah Ferguson (the Duchess of York), Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Susan Sarandon, Eli Manning, Kevin Spacey, Forest Whitaker and numerous U.S. senators.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about National Recognition Events.

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Who is involved in the program?
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is sponsored and administered by  Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the  National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The application and state-level judging processes are conducted by International Scholarship and Tuition Services.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about Judging.

In addition, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are supported by:

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What are next year's program's key dates?
November 4, 2014
Student application deadline.

November 11, 2014
Deadline for schools and officially designated local organizations to select and certify local Honorees for state-level judging.

February 10, 2015
Judging results are announced by NASSP and Prudential.

May 2 - 5, 2015
National recognition events in Washington, D.C.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about Dates and Deadlines.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities for 2014-15.

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