Over the past 18 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been given to more than 100,000 middle and high school students across the country for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment, and serving their communities through many other volunteer activities. Today the search begins to identify thousands more who have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12 months, as the awards program kicks off its 19 th year. These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honor outstanding community service by students in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level. “Prudential is proud to honor young people who contribute their time and talents to improving the communities around them,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We celebrate their service with hope that others will be inspired to follow their fine example.” Young volunteers can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit. Applications must be completed by November 5, 2013, and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate. Paper versions of the application form are available 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 by a state-level judging committee, which will name the top two candidates from each state and the District of Columbia – one high school student and one middle level student – as State Honorees on February 11, 2014. 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 3-6, 2014. Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.