You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Eligibility

    1. 1. 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 and grandchildren of Prudential employees are eligible for the PruKids Volunteer Awards. For information, contact us at 973-802-4568 or spirit@prudential.com.

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

      No. Anyone in grades 5-12 who has conducted a volunteer service project may apply through his or her school.

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

      No. Any school may participate.

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

      Yes. The person in charge of your education (in most cases a parent) may certify your application.

    5. 5. Are Boy Scouts eligible?

      Yes. Boy Scouts must submit their applications to their schools or an officially designated local organization.

    6. 6. Who is eligible for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards?

      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.

      Not eligible: 

      • Children and grandchildren of 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

       

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

      Yes.

    8. 8. 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.

    9. 9. 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.

  • Applications (Questions for students)

    1. 1. How do I apply?

      You can apply online here. Read more about the application process.

      If you’d prefer to apply with a paper application, please call 877-525-8491. 

      After completing your application, submit it by November 8 to your principal or the head of one of these local organizations: 

      The school or local organization will then certify applicants to advance to state-level judging as Local Honorees.

    2. 2. 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. 

    3. 3. What do I do once I’ve completed the application?

      If you’ve completed the application online – including the student/parent agreement page found on the last tab of the application – go to the “Certification” page to either email certification instructions to your certifier, or to print them out and hand-deliver them. These instructions enable your certifier to review your application online.

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

      No. Submit your application to only one school or participating organization, not both.

    5. 5. 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.

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

      No. Only individuals can apply. This does not preclude an individual who had assistance on his or her project from applying. Everyone involved in the project may apply individually. Then the certifying school or organization must decide which individual will be submitted for state-level judging.

    7. 7. What is an electronic signature?

      An electronic signature is the equivalent of a handwritten signature. To implement, simply type your name in the input form provided.

  • Applications (Questions for principals and organization heads)

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

      You can get detailed implementation instructions online or by calling 1-877-525-8491. 

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

      First, inform students or members about this opportunity for volunteer recognition, and distribute instruction sheets (included in your mailing) to those who are interested and eligible. The instructions direct students or members to visit spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit to fill out an online application, and submit completed applications to you.

      After November 8 – 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 comprised of people 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 18. 

      Get detailed instructions for implementing the program

    3. 3. 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. 

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

      Any school that includes any grade from 5 to 12 may participate. 

    5. 5. Can teachers certify applications?

      No. Only a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization can certify applications.

    6. 6. 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 Friday, November 18. 

      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 18 to: 

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

    7. 7. How can I make sure my certification has been received?

      Certifiers may call International Scholarship and Tuition Services at 877-525-8491. 

    8. 8. 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. 

    9. 9. 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 representatives are involved with The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in their communities. Program participation is not contingent upon local Prudential involvement. 

  • Awards

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

      If you haven’t heard about your application status, check with your school principal or the head of your officially designated local organization.

    2. 2. Are there runners-up on the state level?

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

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

      Between two 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 percent of the Local Honorees certified in the state.

    4. 4. When are National Honorees announced?

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

    5. 5. How many National Honorees are named?

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

    6. 6. What do the National Honorees receive?

      Each National Honoree receives an additional $5,000, a gold medallion, and a crystal trophy for their school or certifying organization. In addition, National Honorees receive grants of $5,000 from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

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

      Read about last year’s National Honoree projects.

    8. 8. What are Local Honorees?

      Local Honorees are applicants selected to advance to state-level judging.

    9. 9. 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 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: 26 hours for age 10 and younger; 50 hours for ages 11-15; and 100 hours for older students. 

       

    10. 10. 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.

    11. 11. How many State Honorees are named each year?

      One middle level school and one high school student are named State Honorees for each state and Washington, D.C., for a total of 102.

    12. 12. When and how are the judging results announced?

      Notification letters are mailed to the certifiers in February. In addition, all State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists receive notification letters mailed to their homes. Their names are announced in press releases issued in every state, and are listed at spirit.prudential.com and www.nassp.org/spirit.

    13. 13. 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; the $1,000 award is presented in Washington, D.C.

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

      Read about last year’s State Honorees and their projects.

    15. 15. 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.

  • Dates and Deadlines

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

      November 18, 11:59 p.m. CST.

    2. 2. May I have an extension on the deadline?

      Extensions cannot be granted.

    3. 3. When are the State Honorees announced?

      State-level awards are announced in February.

    4. 4. When are National Honorees announced?

      National Honorees are announced in early May.

    5. 5. 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 8.

    6. 6. 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.

  • Judging

    1. 1. How are applicants judged?

      Applications are judged on: 

      Initiative: Did the applicant initiate the activity on his/her own, or demonstrate exceptional leadership or motivation in an existing 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 was made by the activity? Were a significant number of people affected, or were the lives of specific individuals impacted in a major way?

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

       

  • National Recognition Events

    1. 1. Who goes to Washington, D.C.?

      State Honorees receive all-expense-paid trips with a parent or guardian to the program’s national recognition events in Washington. They are joined by top honorees from international Spirit of Community programs.

    2. 2. What happens in Washington, D.C.?

      Honorees see the sights of the nation’s capital, share ideas, volunteer together, take a dinner cruise on the Potomac River and are individually recognized at a gala award ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

      The names of the year’s 10 National Honorees are announced at a special ceremony during the trip.

    3. 3. 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.

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

      Yes. All State Honorees receive their $1,000 award at the national recognition events.