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Youth volunteer award seeks names

MONTPELIER — The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Vermont’s top youth volunteers of the year. Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2019 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 online at spirit.prudential.com and nassp.org/spirit. Applications are due Nov. 6. 
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.
“After more than two decades of honoring young volunteers, we know that students are a powerful force for good,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO
John Strangfeld. “We shine a spotlight on their service in hopes that others will be inspired to follow their example.”
Vermont’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Samuel Grandfield, 18, of Waterbury, who has volunteered for the past two years to help people in his community stay safe by serving as a junior firefighter for his local fire department, and Ella Byers, 13, of Shelburne, who has participated in several activities over the years to help Vermonters facing addiction, poverty and illness. Read more about Samuel and Ella at spirit.prudent ial .com/honorees/2018/vt.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for a 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:
• Students complete the online application by Nov. 6.
• 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 Nov. 16.
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 1-855-670-4787.)
On Feb. 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 4-7, 2019.
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).

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