Hawaii’s top youth volunteers sought for 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Spirit medallions on display. -- Photo courtesy Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Now through Nov. 6, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of the year.

Students in grades 5 through 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 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, 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.”

Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Mahealani Sims-Tulba, 18, of Ewa Beach, and Grace Kenedy, 14, of Kailua. Sims-Tulba created a nonprofit foundation to communicate about the problem of bullying to students throughout Hawaii, while Kennedy raised thousands of dollars to benefit sick and abused children as a board member of a Hawaii-based student philanthropic organization.

The 2019 Awards Program

On Feb. 5, 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 May 4 through 7.

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 the President’s Volunteer Service Award if they have served the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (26 hours for ages 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for older students).

“It’s an honor to recognize middle level and high school students making a difference through volunteer service,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We look forward to another year of celebrating the impact, initiative and compassion of young volunteers.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

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, where Prudential has significant business operations.


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 www.nassp.org.

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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, available at http://spirit.prudential.com and www.nassp.org/spirit. 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 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 (855) 670-4787.)