Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility +

Are children of Prudential employees eligible?

Do I have to be a member of an officially designated local organization to qualify?

Does my school have to be a member of NASSP in order to participate?

I am home-schooled and am not a member of an officially designated local organization. Am I eligible?

Are Boy Scouts eligible?

Who is eligible for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards?

Are Washington, D.C., residents eligible?

Are U.S. residents living on a U.S. military base overseas eligible?

Are U.S. residents of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, or other U.S. territories eligible?

Are children of Prudential employees eligible?
No. Employees of Prudential, NASSP, or any of their affiliates, and any firm involved in the program, their children, and previous National Honorees are not eligible. However, children of Prudential employees are eligible for a similar program: The PruKids Volunteer Awards. For more information, call 1-973-802-4568 or send an email to spirit@prudential.com.

Do I have to be a member of an officially designated local organization to qualify?
No. Any young person in grades 5-12 who has conducted a volunteer service project may apply through his or her school.

Does my school have to be a member of NASSP in order to participate?
No. Any school may participate.

I am home-schooled and am not a member of an officially designated local organization. Am I eligible?
Yes. The person who is in charge of your education (in most cases a parent) may certify your application.

Are Boy Scouts eligible?
Yes. All young people in grades 5-12 who have participated in a volunteer activity are eligible. However, the Boy Scouts of America do not participate as a certifying organization. Therefore, Boy Scouts must submit their applications to their schools or an officially designated local organization.

Who is eligible for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards?
The following people are eligible:

  • Students in grades 5-12 who live in the 50 states or Washington, D.C., and have conducted a volunteer service activity within the past year
  • American students in grades 5-12 who live elsewhere but whose parents or guardians are legal voting residents of one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C.
The following people are not eligible:
  • Employees of Prudential, NASSP, or any of their affiliates, and any firm involved in the program and their children
  • Previous National Honorees
  • Previous State Honorees, unless their submitted activity is significantly different from their previously honored activity

Are Washington, D.C., residents eligible?
Yes.

Are U.S. residents living on a U.S. military base overseas eligible?
Yes, as long as a parent or guardian is a legal voting resident of one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C.

Are U.S. residents of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, or other U.S. territories eligible?
No, unless a parent or guardian is a legal voting resident of one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C.



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Applications (student questions) +

Where can I get an application?

How do I apply online?

Do I have to complete the online application form all at once?

How can I apply if I don't want to apply online?

If I have a paper application, should I type or hand-write my answers?

What do I do once I've completed the application?

May I submit my application to my school and an officially designated local organization?

My school is not participating in the program, and I'm not a member of an officially designated local organization. How do I apply?

My friends and I worked on a project together. Can we apply together?

What is an electronic signature?

Where can I get an application?
You can apply online. Or you can get a paper version of the application by calling 1-877-525-8491.

How do I apply online?
Click here to access the online application form.

After you complete the application, submit it by November 4 to either your middle or high school principal or the head of one of these officially designated local organizations:

The school or local organization will then certify one (or more) applicant(s) to advance to state-level judging as its Local Honoree(s). Applicants must be certified by a principal or the head of an officially designated local organization to be eligible for state-level awards.

Do I have to complete the online application form all at once?
No. You can fill out as much as you like in one sitting, then save it and return to finish it later.  We recommend that you review all of the application questions and prepare your answers before actually beginning the application.

How can I apply if I don't want to apply online?
You may call 1-877-525-8491 to have a paper version of the application form mailed to you.

If I have a paper application, should I type or hand-write my answers?
You can use a ballpoint pen, a typewriter, or a computer to fill out your paper application. If you use a computer, use at least 10-point type and tape or paste each answer under the appropriate question.

What do I do once I've completed the application?
If you've completed the application online, go to the "Certification" page to either email certification instructions to your certifier, or to print them out and hand-deliver them.  These instructions will enable your certifier to review your application online.  This must be done by November 4, 2014.  Your certifier can be your school principal, or the head of one of these officially designated local organizations: a county 4-H group, Girl Scout council, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or affiliate of HandsOn Network.    Before submitting your application, you and your parent or guardian must complete the student/parent agreement page, which can be found on the last tab of the application.

May I submit my application to my school and an officially designated local organization?
No. You can submit your application to only one school or participating organization.

My school is not participating in the program, and I'm not a member of an officially designated local organization. How do I apply?
Complete an application and ask your principal to certify your application online. If he or she will not certify your application, ask your guidance counselor for assistance.

My friends and I worked on a project together. Can we apply together?
No. Only individuals can apply. Partnerships and groups are not eligible. This does not preclude an individual who had assistance on his project from applying. Everyone involved in the project may apply, but must do so individually. Then the certifying school or organization must decide which individual will be submitted for state-level judging.

What is an electronic signature?
An electronic signature is the equivalent of a handwritten signature.  To implement, simply type your name.



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Applications (school/local organization questions) +

My school did not get information about the program. How do I get information about implementing it at my school?

What do I do to implement the program at my school or organization?

My school has middle level and high school grades. Can I submit one honoree from each type for state-level judging?

My school is not a middle level or a high school. Can we still implement the program?

Can teachers certify applications?

Where do I send the application of a student selected as an Honoree?

How can I make sure my certification has been received?

How many Local Honorees can my school/organization nominate for state-level judging?

The application asks if a Prudential representative has been in contact with my school about the program. If no one has been in contact with us, can we still participate?

My school did not get information about the program. How do I get information about implementing it at my school?
Complete implementation instructions are mailed to all middle and high school principals in early September. You can also get detailed implementation instructions online or by calling 1-877-525-8491.

What do I do to implement the program at my school or organization?
First, inform your students or members about this opportunity for volunteer recognition, and distribute application instruction sheets (included in your mailing) to those who are interested and eligible. The application instruction sheets direct students or members to visit spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit to fill out an online application, and to submit their completed applications to you.

After November 4, the deadline for submitting applications, you can begin your selection process. You can select one Local Honoree for every 1,000 eligible students or members. You may select your Local Honoree any way you choose, although we recommend using a committee with a variety of members from both inside and outside your school or organization.

Certify your designated Local Honoree(s) online and nominate him/her/them for state-level judging by 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 11. 

Get detailed instructions for 
implementing the program.

My school has middle level and high school grades. Can I submit one honoree from each type for state-level judging?
Yes. Schools with both middle level and high school grades may select one middle level Local Honoree and one high school Local Honoree for every 1,000 students in each category to advance to state-level judging.

My school is not a middle level or a high school. Can we still implement the program?
Any school that includes any grades from 5th through 12th may participate. This includes public, private, parochial, charter, and home schools.

Can teachers certify applications?
No. Only a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization can certify students' applications.

Where do I send the application of a student selected as an Honoree?
If the student completed an online application, the school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization must certify their designated Local Honoree(s) online and nominate him/her/them for state-level judging by 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 11. If the student completed a paper application, the school principal or head of an officially designated local organization must mail the entire application by November 11 to:

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
International Scholarship and Tuition Services
1321 Murfreesboro Road, Ste. 800
Nashville, TN 37217

How can I make sure my certification has been received?
Certifiers may call International Scholarship and Tuition Services at 1-877-525-8491.

How many Local Honorees can my school/organization nominate for state-level judging?
You may select one middle level school Local Honoree for every 1,000 young people (or portion thereof) in grades 5-8 in your school or local organization, and/or one high school Local Honoree for every 1,000 students or members (or portion thereof) in grades 9-12. For example, a school or organization with 1,001 students in grades 5-8 can select two middle level Local Honorees, and a school or organization with 1,001 students or members in grades 9-12 can select two high school Local Honorees.

The application asks if a Prudential representative has been in contact with my school about the program. If no one has been in contact with us, can we still participate?
Yes. We ask that question to determine how many of our sales representatives are involved with The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in their communities. Program participation is completely separate from, and not contingent upon, local Prudential involvement.



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Awards +

I know my application was selected for state-level judging. Why haven't I heard anything yet?

Are there runners-up on the state level?

How many Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients will there be in my state?

When are National Honorees announced?

How many National Honorees are named?

What do the National Honorees receive?

What types of projects have been selected to receive national recognition in the past?

What are Local Honorees?

Do I receive anything if my certifying organization chooses me to advance to state-level judging as a Local Honoree?

Do I receive anything if I apply but am not selected by my certifying organization for state-level judging?

How many State Honorees are named each year?

When and how are the judging results announced?

What do State Honorees receive?

What types of projects have been selected to receive state recognition in the past?

If I am selected as a State Honoree and I had assistance on the project, can my partner attend the recognition events in Washington and share my award?

I know my application was selected for state-level judging. Why haven't I heard anything yet?
All participating schools and organizations that nominate applicants for state-level judging will be notified of the judging results in February. Applicants not chosen as State Honorees or Distinguished Finalists will not receive notification directly; their certifying organizations will receive notification and be asked to hand-deliver notification to the applicants. If you haven't heard about your application status, check with your school principal or the head of your officially designated local organization.

Are there runners-up on the state level?
In addition to the two State Honorees for each state and Washington, D.C., 2 to 10 applicants from each will be selected to receive Distinguished Finalist honors and will be presented with bronze medallions. Other runners-up at the state level receive a Certificate of Excellence.

How many Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients will there be in my state?
Between 2 and 10 Distinguished Finalists are selected in each state, depending on the state's population. The number of Certificate of Excellence recipients equals approximately 10% of the Local Honorees certified in the state.

When are National Honorees announced?
The National Honorees are announced during the national recognition events for State Honorees in early May in Washington, D.C.

How many National Honorees are named?
Five high school and five middle level school students are named National Honorees.

What do the National Honorees receive?
Each National Honoree receives an additional $5,000, a gold medallion, and a crystal trophy for his or her school or certifying organization. In addition, National Honorees receive grants of $5,000 from The Prudential Foundation for non-profit charitable organizations of their choice.

What types of projects have been selected to receive national recognition in the past?
Read about last year's National Honorees' projects.

What are Local Honorees?
Local Honorees are the applicants selected by schools and officially designated local organizations to advance to state-level judging. A school or officially designated local organization may select one middle level Local Honoree for every 1,000 young people (or portion thereof) in grades 5-8 in the school or local organization, and/or one high school Local Honoree for every 1,000 students or members (or portion thereof) in grades 9-12.

Do I receive anything if my certifying organization chooses me to advance to state-level judging as a Local Honoree?
Local Honorees receive Certificates of Achievement that are presented by their certifying schools or organizations. They also receive the President's Volunteer Service Award if they have volunteered the required number of hours to qualify (at least 50 hours for those younger than 15, and at least 100 hours for those older than 15).

Do I receive anything if I apply but am not selected by my certifying organization for state-level judging?
You may receive a Certificate of Merit at the discretion of your certifying school or organization.

How many State Honorees are named each year?
For each state and Washington, D.C., one middle level school and one high school student are named State Honorees, for a total of 102.

When and how are the judging results announced?
Notification letters are mailed to the certifiers of all certified applicants in February. In addition, all State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists receive notification letters mailed to their homes, they are announced in press releases issued in every state, and they are listed at spirit.prudential.com and at www.nassp.org/spirit.

What do State Honorees receive?
State Honorees receive a beautifully engraved silver medallion, a monetary award of $1,000, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., in early May for several days of recognition events. The medallion is presented in the State Honoree's hometown by a local Prudential representative, and the $1,000 award is presented in Washington, D.C.

What types of projects have been selected to receive state recognition in the past?
Read about last year's State Honorees and their projects.

If I am selected as a State Honoree and I had assistance on the project, can my partner attend the recognition events in Washington and share my award?
No. The Prudential Spirit of Community Award is an individual award, and the monetary award and the recognition events are only for individual honorees.



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Dates and Deadlines +

What is the deadline for schools and officially designated local organizations to certify their selected applications?

May I have an extension on the deadline?

When are the State Honorees announced?

When are National Honorees announced?

What is the application deadline date?

When are the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?

What is the deadline for schools and officially designated local organizations to certify their selected applications?
No later than 11:59 p.m. CST on November 11.

May I have an extension on the deadline?
Extensions cannot be granted.

When are the State Honorees announced?
All state-level awards are announced in February. State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists are notified directly by mail and through their certifiers. All other Local Honorees are notified of the judging results through their certifiers.

When are National Honorees announced?
The National Honorees are announced during the national recognition events for State Honorees in early May in Washington, D.C.

What is the application deadline date?
Applications must be submitted to school principals or the head of an officially designated local organization no later than November 4.

When are the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?
The events typically begin on the first Saturday in May and conclude the following Tuesday.



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Judging +

What are the judging criteria?

What types of projects have been selected to receive state recognition in the past?

What are the judging criteria?
Applications are judged on:  

Initiative: How much personal initiative was involved in the activity? Did the applicant initiate the activity on his/her own, or demonstrate exceptional leadership or motivation in an already organized activity?

Effort: How much time and effort did the activity require? Did the applicant have to overcome significant obstacles?

Impact: How much of a difference did the service activity make? Were a significant number of people affected, or were the lives of certain individuals impacted in a major way?

Personal Growth: Did the applicant develop new insights or skills from the experience? Does the application reflect a sound understanding of the importance of serving others?

What types of projects have been selected to receive state recognition in the past?
Read about last year's State Honorees and their projects.



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National Recognition Events +

When are the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?

Do State Honorees have to attend the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?

When are the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?
The events typically begin on the first Saturday in May and conclude the following Tuesday.

Do State Honorees have to attend the national recognition events in Washington, D.C.?
Yes. All State Honorees will receive their $1,000 award at the national recognition events in early May in Washington, D.C.



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