National program seeks top Rhode Island youth volunteers

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The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Rhode Island's top youth volunteers of the year.

Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards by Nov. 6 if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months. The application is available at spirit.prudential.com and www.nassp.org/spirit.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), was created in 1995 to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle level and high school students. The awards have been granted annually for the past 23 years on the local, state and national level.

“After more than two decades of honoring young volunteers, we know that students are a powerful force for good,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld in a release. “We shine a spotlight on their service in hopes that others will be inspired to follow their example.”

Rhode Island's top youth volunteers of 2018 were Alison Hornung, 18, of North Kingstown, who organized a fashion runway show and other fundraisers over a six-week period that yielded $43,000 to help find a cure for blood cancers after a close friend was diagnosed with leukemia, and Sarah Lavoie, 14, of Coventry, who helps resolve conflicts between students at her school peacefully through her role as a peer mediator.

To apply for a 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:

Students complete the online application by November 6.

Then, students submit the application for certification to their principal or head of a local participating organization.

Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select a Local Honoree to nominate for state-level judging by November 16.

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. (Students can request a paper application by calling 855-670-4787.)

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