National awards program seeking New Jersey’s top youth volunteers
Published September 21, 2018 | Newswire
Photo by Jamez Picard
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for New Jersey’s top youth volunteers of the year.
Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for the awards through November 6, 2018 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 23 years on the local, state and national level.
New Jersey’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Alexa Grabelle, 17, of Voorhees, who founded a literacy service organization that has collected 130,000 new and gently-used children’s books over the past six years to promote educational equality and foster a love of reading in kids from low-income households, and Rileigh Leighton, 14, of Williamstown, who is the founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization called “Rileigh’s Rainbows” that she uses to provide free school supplies to students in need in her school district.
To apply for a 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:
Students complete the online application by November 6, 2018. (To request a paper application, all 855-670-4787.)
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 16, 2018.
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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.
On February 5, 2019, 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 May 4th through 7th, 2019.
In Washington, a 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, and 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).
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer community service, and has honored more than 125,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level over the past 23 years. The awards program also is conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China and Brazil.