CHARLESTON, W.Va., Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today through November 7, 2017, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for West Virginia’s top youth volunteers of the year.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards logo

Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months. The application is available at http://spirit.prudential.com and www.nassp.org/spirit.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), was created in 1995 to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle level and high school students. The awards have been granted annually for the past 22 years on the local, state and national level.

“We’ve learned over the past two decades that young people are doing innovative, important work to improve communities at home and abroad,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We honor their contributions in the hope that their example will inspire others to consider what they can do to make a difference.”

West Virginia’s top youth volunteers of 2017 were Elena Polinski, 17, of Moundsville, who initiated a music instruction and therapy program for people with special needs, and Mallory Marks, 12, of Mineral Wells, who collected hygiene and other items to make holiday gift bags for teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Read more about Elena and Mallory’s trip to Washington, D.C.

How to Apply

To apply for a 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:

  • Students complete the online application by November 7, 2017.
  • Then, students submit the application for certification to their principal or head of a local participating organization.
  • Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select a Local Honoree to nominate for state-level judging by November 17, 2017.

Applications can be certified by a middle or high school principal or head of a Girl Scout council, county 4-H organization, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or an affiliate of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network. (Students can request a paper application by calling 855-670-4787.)

The 2018 Awards Program

On February 6, 2018, the top middle level and high school volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia will be named State Honorees. They will receive $1,000, engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian for four days of recognition events from April 28-May 1, 2018.

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.

Several Distinguished Finalists in each state will receive bronze medallions, and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence. Local Honorees selected by schools and participating organizations for state-level judging will be presented with Certificates of Achievement; they will also receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards if they have served the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for older students).

“NASSP is proud to honor middle level and high school students who go above and beyond to better the lives of others,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We are inspired every year by their stories of service, and look forward once again to celebrating young volunteers across America.”

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer community service, and has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level over the past 22 years. The awards program also is conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China, Brazil and Poland, where Prudential has significant business operations.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council. 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 and investment management. 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 www.news.prudential.com.  

[Editors: The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program logo and other multimedia resources are available at http://spirit.prudential.com.]

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SOURCE Prudential Insurance