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Get Recognized: How to Apply for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Application season is upon us – and The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for the top youth volunteers of 2017.

Who’s eligible?

Applications are open to students at the middle and high school level -- grades 5-12 -- who have volunteered in the past year. 

We’re proud to be one of just a few national programs that honor young volunteers at the middle school level. Every year, fully half of our 102 State Honorees and 10 National Honorees are in grades 5-8. 

What’s a certifier?

A certifier is someone who signs off on your application, which advances it to the state-level judging process. Applications can be certified only by a principal or the head of a local Girl Scouts, 4-H, Red Cross, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate – but the project doesn’t have to be related to school or one of those organizations.

What do honorees get?

Local Honorees – students whose applications are selected for certification – receive Spirt of Community certificates from their schools or organizations. If they’ve served the minimum volunteer hours to qualify, they also receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards. (Other applicants may receive Certificates of Merit at the discretion of their schools or organizations.)

Between two and 10 Distinguished Finalists in each state receive bronze medallions; a handful of other runners-up at the state level receive Certificates of Excellence.

The top middle level and high school volunteer in each state, known as State Honorees, receive $1,000 awards, silver medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. in May for the program’s annual national recognition events.

National Honorees – five at the middle level and five in high school – receive $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies for their nominating school or organization, and a $5,000 Prudential Foundation grant for a nonprofit of their choice.

While The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards isn’t a scholarship program, State and National Honorees receive unrestricted monetary awards that can be used for college, if they want. 

What kinds of projects have been honored before?

All kinds! Some past honorees have started initiatives to tackle big problems, like childhood cancer or food insecurity. Others have collected books, or led a club at school, or found a way to be a resource to a peer in need.

Remember, honors are granted locally, in addition to the state and national level; you don’t need a large-scale project to earn a Prudential Spirit of Community Award.  

See more answers to common questions on our FAQ page.