Private Funders: Prudential Financial Inc. and the Nat’l Assn. of Secondary School Principals; Opportunity: 2016-17 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards; Funding Focus: Community service and education; Geographic Focus: National; Eligibility: Middle and high school students; Funding: Up to $5,000 each (multiple awards); Deadline: TBA, the next round is to open later this year; Last year’s deadline: Nov. 8.
Summary: Grants honor young people in grades 5 through 12 who have demonstrated exemplary voluntary service. The competition has made awards to thousands of middle and high school students for their volunteer work. Students must be in the fifth grade or above to apply. Local honorees receive a certificate of recognition from their schools or organizations. State honorees receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC. The 10 national honorees receive $5,000, an engraved gold medallion and a trophy for their school or organization. In addition, National Honorees receive grants of $5,000 from the Prudential Foundation to be distributed in their name to the nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.
The application must: describe an individual’s community service activity or an individual’s significant leadership in a group activity that has taken place during the previous year; be completed and submitted to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by the deadline; and be certified by the principal of a middle level or high. Applications are judged on: Initiative (how much personal initiative was involved in the activity? Did the applicant initiate the activity?); Effort (how much time and effort did the activity require? Did the applicant have to overcome significant obstacles?); Impact (how much of a difference did the service activity make?) and Personal Growth (did the applicant develop new insights or skills from the experience?).