Seattle's Child

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Do you know a great young volunteer? Tell them about this award

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are looking for two of Washington’s top youth volunteers of the year to receive $1,000, a medallion and an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Students in grades 5-12 can apply if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past year. The deadline is Nov. 6.


Created in 1995, the awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), aim to recognize the outstanding volunteer work of middle and high school students on the local, state and national level. “Students are a powerful force for good,” says Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We shine a spotlight on their service in hopes that others will be inspired to follow their example.”


Washington’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Philip Meng, 16, of Vancouver, and Sophia DeMarco, 14, of Enumclaw. Philip founded a nonprofit organization that develops programs to improve geographic education for students throughout the country and in 25 nations around the world, while Sophia had been a leader in her school and community in promoting environmental protection and other important causes.


In addition, six distinguished finalists were named: Izabella Davis of Lake Forest Park, Veenadhari Kollipara of Bellevue, Ian Nickels of Battle Ground, Rachel Roberson of Sammamish, Eshika Saxena of Bellevue, and Eli Stanciu of College Place.


On Feb. 5, 2019, the top middle-level and high-school volunteer from each state will be named State Honorees. 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.


If you know someone who excels at giving back to their community, here is how to apply:


  • Complete the online application by Nov. 6.
  • Submit the application for certification to the student’s principal or head of a local participating organization. (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.)
  • Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select a local honoree to nominate for state-level judging by Nov. 16.