Search Under Way for California’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2016

State Honorees receive $1,000, medallions, all-expense-paid trips
to Washington, D.C. for 21
annual national recognition events

Temecula and San Jose students were California’s top youth
volunteers of 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards begins its search for
California’s top youth volunteers of 2016.

Now through November 3, students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards if they have made meaningful
contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the
past 12 months. The application is available at

This program year marks The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards’ 21st
year of honoring youth volunteers. The program, sponsored by Prudential
Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary
School Principals (NASSP), was created in 1995 to recognize middle level
and high school students for helping people in need, promoting health
and safety, protecting the environment, or volunteering in other ways.
The awards are presented annually on the local, state and national level.

“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.”

California’s top youth volunteers of 2015 were Kenzie Hall, 17, of
Temecula and Raghav Ganesh, 13, of San Jose. Kenzie, California’s top
high school volunteer, started a program at age 11 that grants several
“wishes” each year to children who have had a parent killed or severely
wounded while serving in the armed forces. Raghav, California’s top
middle level volunteer, designed and built a device that uses sensors to
detect objects beyond the reach of the white canes used by many visually
impaired people.

Raghav also was named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of 2015.

Applicants for 2016 awards must complete their online applications by
November 3, 2015, then submit them for certification to a middle or high
school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red
Cross chapter, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate. Paper application
forms can be requested 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 from President Barack Obama 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. Distinguished Finalists at the state level will
receive bronze medallions, and runners-up will receive Certificates of

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.

“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
their peers.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’
largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer community
service, and has honored more than 115,000 young volunteers at the
local, state and national level over the past 20 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 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

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

[Editors: Full-color pictures of The Prudential Spirit of
Community Awards program logo and medallions are available at]


Harold Banks, 973-802-8974 (work) or 973-216-4833 (cell)