Prudential’s Spirit of Community Awards recognize how the compassion, innovation and dedication of today’s students can make a difference. Applications are open through November 6.
By Adam Hunter
They’ve invented ways to prevent plane crashes and manufacture inexpensive prosthetic limbs. They’ve helped comfort soldiers with PTSD and rebuild communities devastated by fire and hurricanes. They’ve fought hunger and raised money for cancer research. And most are not even old enough to vote.
They’re the winners of The Prudential Spirit of Community Award, which, each year, honors high school and middle school students who have made an impact with their commitment to community service. Alumni have gone on to become CEOs, tech entrepreneurs and community leaders. One even became Miss America.
Through November 6, students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in grades 5 to 12, can apply for the 2019 awards and a chance to be recognized this May in Washington, D.C.
Students submit their application for certification to their school principal or head of a participating organization—a local Girl Scout council, county 4-H organization, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or an affiliate of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network. Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select an honoree to nominate for state-level judging.
Top state honorees receive $1,000, silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with their parent or guardian. Ten honorees selected as America’s top youth volunteers of the year 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.
Paloma Rambana, a 12-year-old from Tallahassee, Florida, was one of America’s top youth volunteers of 2018, congratulated by Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Vonn during the most recent national recognition events in Washington. Inspired by her own congenital eye condition, Paloma launched a lobbying campaign that helped to secure $1.25 million in government funding to pay for vision equipment that children with visual impairments can use in the classroom.
“I tell everyone that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you can make a difference,” she said.
For more details about this year’s awards or to apply online, visit spirit.prudential.com.
For Spirit of Community-related media inquiries, please contact Harold Banks.