NEWARK, N.J., February 9, 2021 – Prudential Financial today announced its 2021 class of Spirit of Community Awards State Honorees — 102 middle level and high school students from across the United States whose volunteering has addressed critical community needs in a year of upheaval.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted annually by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honors students in grades 5-12 for making meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.
“We created the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 26 years ago to highlight and support the work of young people taking on the challenges of a changing world – a mission that rings truer than ever given the events of last year,” said Charles Lowrey, Prudential’s chairman and CEO. “We are proud to celebrate the vision and determination of Spirit of Community’s Class of 2021, and all the ways they’re making their communities safer, healthier and more equitable places to live.”
The 2021 State Honorees – the top middle level and high school volunteers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia – were selected for service initiatives completed, at least in part, between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2020. Selection was based on criteria including impact, effort, initiative and the personal growth demonstrated over the course of the project.
Many of this year’s honorees either directly addressed needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic or adapted existing projects to better accommodate health and safety protocols. Many honorees worked to provide reliable meals to food-insecure households and dismantle barriers to virtual schooling. In the early days of the pandemic, when personal protective equipment was in short supply, one honoree rallied his community to 3D-print thousands of face shields for frontline workers. Several honorees dedicated their efforts to easing the hardship of isolation for nursing home residents. Another created a support network for students of color to share their own experiences in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It speaks volumes about the character of today’s secondary school students that the Spirit of Community program heard from more than 20,000 applicants this fall – most of them stories of young volunteers overcoming the hardships of a global pandemic to support those in need,” said Ronn Nozoe, Chief Executive Officer, NASSP. “While we’re especially proud to celebrate this year’s 102 State Honorees, NASSP applauds every student who’s found a way to volunteer this past year. You inspire your peers and adults alike to remember that, even in times of crisis, we all have something to give.”
Each of the 102 State Honorees named today will receive a $2,500 scholarship, a silver medallion and an invitation to the program’s virtual national recognition celebration in April, where 10 of them will be named America’s top youth volunteers of the year. Those 10 National Honorees will earn an additional $5,000 scholarship, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their nominating organization and a $5,000 grant for a nonprofit charitable organization of their choice.
To read the names and stories of this year’s State Honorees, visit http://spirit.prudential.com.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness leader and premier active global investment manager, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit news.prudential.com.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. 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. Learn more at http://nassp.org.