Volunteering as a teen can boost happiness and reduce stress,
recent survey finds
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Over the past 20 years, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have been
given to more than 115,000 middle and high school students across the
country for helping people in need, raising awareness of worthy causes,
addressing needs in their hometowns and many other volunteer activities.
Today, the search begins to identify thousands more young people who
have made meaningful contributions to their communities over the past 12
months, as the awards program kicks off its 21st year.
These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership
with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP),
honor outstanding community service by middle level and high school
students at the local, state and national level.
A recent survey of 1,200 teens by The Prudential Spirit of Community
Awards revealed the virtuous cycle that young people encounter when they
volunteer. Nine in 10 teens who volunteer said service makes them feel
good about themselves, and that their participation leads to feeling
needed (59 percent), feeling happier and less stressed (59 percent), and
feeling more connected to people (54 percent). Compared to teenagers who
did not volunteer, volunteers rated themselves an average of 15 points
higher across a variety of traits, including independence, leadership,
dependability, confidence and optimism.
The survey, which measured the attitudes of U.S. teenagers toward
volunteering, was conducted this year in support of The Prudential
Spirit of Community Awards’ mission to promote volunteerism amongst
middle and high school students. Compared to 20 years ago, when
Prudential first surveyed teenagers about their attitudes toward
volunteering, the number of teens who see volunteering as important has
increased from 62 percent to 76 percent.
“The feeling of knowing that you truly have a hand in doing something
that helps someone else…is great for your spirit,” one survey respondent
Applications for 2016 awards must be completed by November 3, 2015, 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.
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 (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and
100 hours for older students). 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 9, 2016.
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 April 30-May 3, 2016.
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 2016.
These National Honorees will receive $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.
“Every year for the past 20 years, we’ve been inspired by the stories of
service we’ve heard from young people across the United States,” said
Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We look forward to
honoring the top youth volunteers of 2016, and hope their example will
inspire others to serve their communities, too.”
“Middle and high school students nationwide are making their mark on
their communities through volunteer service,” said JoAnn Bartoletti,
executive director of NASSP. “We are honored to celebrate their
initiative, their dedication, and the powerful example they’ve set for
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represent the United States’
largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. The
awards program also is conducted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland,
India, China and Brazil, where Prudential has significant business
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the
leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the
United States and 35 countries around the world. The association
connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research,
education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school
leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school
leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality
professional learning experiences. 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 Association of Student Councils.
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 and investment
management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for
strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century.
For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.
[Editors: Full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards
program logo and medallions are available at http://spirit.prudential.com.]
Harold Banks, 973-802-8974 (work)