SOURCE: Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc.

September 13, 2011 15:34 ET

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program Announces 17th Annual Search for the Nation's Top Youth Volunteers

Recognition Program Honors Outstanding Middle and High School Youth at Local, State and National Levels

NEWARK, NJ--(Marketwire - Sep 13, 2011) - All over the country, young people are changing their corners of the world through volunteer service. And every year for the past 17 years, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards has searched the U.S. to find and celebrate the most inspiring stories of youth leadership, initiative and civic-mindedness.

The search for 2012's top youth volunteers begins this month.

This prestigious awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honors outstanding community service by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level. Student volunteers are encouraged to apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit.

"We're delighted to honor these role models and hold them up as examples of how young people can change their communities for the better," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John R. Strangfeld.

  • Applications must be completed by November 1, 2011, and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or affiliate of HandsOn Network. Those without Internet access can get a paper version of the application form by calling 877-525-8491 toll-free.
  • Participating schools and local organizations will select Local Honorees in early November and present them with Certificates of Achievement. These Local Honorees also will receive the President's Volunteer Service Award if they have contributed the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (50 hours for age 14 and younger, 100 hours for those older).
  • All Local Honorees are then reviewed at the state level, and the top two candidates from each state and the District of Columbia -- one high school student and one middle level student -- are named State Honorees on February 7, 2012.
  • These State Honorees will receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent for four days of recognition events May 5-8, 2012. Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.
  • 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.

JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP, states, "These volunteers are the leaders of tomorrow, and they give us great hope for the future."

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represent the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.

NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 45countries around the world. 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, investment management, and real estate services. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com.

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