About the Program
Program OverviewThe 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 18 years, more than 345,000 young Americans have participated in the program, and more than 100,000 of them have been officially recognized for their volunteer efforts.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is also conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, and India, where Prudential has significant business operations.
- How does the program work?
- Who is eligible?
- What qualifications must be met?
- What do honorees win?
- What happens in Washington?
- Who is involved in the program?
- What are this year's program's key dates?
|How does the program work?|
- Girl Scout councils
- County 4-H organizations
- American Red Cross chapters
- Affiliates of HandsOn Network
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.
|Who is eligible?|
- is in grades 5-12 as of November 6,
- 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 6.
|What qualifications must be met?|
- 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 6, 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.
|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.
|What happens in Washington?|
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 and numerous U.S. senators.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about National Recognition Events.
|Who is involved in the program?|
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Judging.
In addition, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are supported by:
- National 4-H Council
- Girl Scouts of the USA
- American Red Cross
- YMCA of the USA
- HandsOn Network (generated by the Points of Light Institute)
- America's Promise
- American Association of School Administrators
- National School Boards Association
- Association for Middle Level Education
- Council of the Great City Schools
- National School Public Relations Association
- National Association for Music Education
- National Community Education Association
|What are next year's program's key dates?|
Student application deadline.
November 12, 2013
Deadline for schools and officially designated local organizations to select and certify local Honorees for state-level judging.
February 10, 2014
Judging results are announced by NASSP and Prudential.
May 3 - 6, 2014
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 2012-2013.|