FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Contact: Harold Banks, Prudential 973-802-8974 (office),
September 6, 2011                                         973-216-4833 (cell), harold.banks@prudential.com

17TH ANNUAL SEARCH UNDER WAY
FOR NATION'S TOP YOUTH VOLUNTEERS

 

Recognition Program Honors Outstanding
Middle and High School Youth at Local, State and National Levels

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Over the past 16 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to nearly 100,000 middle and high school students across the country for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through many other volunteer activities.  This week the search begins to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12 months, as the prestigious awards program kicks off its 17th year.

These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honor outstanding community service by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level.

"Since creating this program in 1995, we've been amazed every year by the stories of young volunteers and their outstanding acts of community service," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John R. Strangfeld. "We're delighted to honor these role models and hold them up as examples of how young people can change their communities for the better."

Young volunteers can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit.  Applications must be completed by November 1, 2011, and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or affiliate of HandsOn Network.  Those without Internet access can get a paper version of the application form by calling 877-525-8491 toll-free. 

Participating schools and local organizations will select Local Honorees in early November and present them with Certificates of Achievement.  These Local Honorees also will receive the President's Volunteer Service Award if they have contributed the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (50 hours for age 14 and younger, 100 hours for those older).  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 on February 7, 2012.  These State Honorees will receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent for four days of recognition events May 5-8, 2012.  Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.

In Washington, a distinguished national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 State Honorees as America's top youth volunteers of the year.  These National Honorees will 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 nonprofit, charitable organizations of their choice.    

"It's an honor to recognize these remarkable students and share their stories of selfless community service," said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. "These volunteers are the leaders of tomorrow, and they give us great hope for the future."

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represent the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.  The awards program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and India.

NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. In the U.S., Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century.  For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/ 

 

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