National Awards Program Seeking Hawaii’s Top Youth Volunteers Of 2019


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards will grant two Hawaii honorees $1,000, a medallion and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Ewa Beach and Kailua students were Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of 2018


Today through November 6, 2018, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of the year.

Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2019 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 and

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. “We shine a spotlight on their service in hopes that others will be inspired to follow their example.”

Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Mahealani Sims-Tulba, 18, of Ewa Beach, who created a nonprofit foundation to communicate about the problem of bullying to students throughout Hawaii, and Grace Kennedy, 14, of Kailua, who has raised thousands of dollars to benefit sick and abused children as a board member of a Hawaii-based student philanthropic organization. Read more about Mahealani and Grace at

How to Apply

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, 2018.
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, 2018.
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.)

The 2019 Awards Program

On February 5, 2019, the top middle level and high school volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia will be named State Honorees. They will receive $1,000, engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian for four days of recognition events from May 4-7, 2019.

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.

Several Distinguished Finalists in each state will receive bronze medallions, and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence. Local Honorees selected by schools and participating organizations for state-level judging will be presented with Certificates of Achievement; they will also receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards if they have served 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).

“It’s an honor to recognize middle level and high school students making a difference through volunteer service,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We look forward to another year of celebrating the impact, initiative and compassion of young volunteers.”

Smile Train India Awarded Oracle Grant for Providing New Smiles to Children Born With Clefts

Awards, Society

Smile Train India, a children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate, announced that they have received a grant from Oracle, a global leader in cloud applications and platform services. The grant will provide free cleft surgeries and comprehensive cleft care to 360 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates in FY 18-19. The cleft treatments will be provided at Hyderabad.

In India, over 35,000 children are born with clefts every year and hundreds of thousands of children with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking, as they cannot afford the life-transforming cleft reconstructive surgery. Smile Train India’s ‘teach a man to fish’ model focuses on training, funding, and supplying resources for local medical professionals to provide cleft treatment in their own communities. These medical professionals then go on to train other medical professionals, creating a long-term and sustainable system.

Through this sustainable model, Smile Train India has provided over 500,000 free cleft reconstructive surgeries and comprehensive cleft care across India, through a network of 160+ partner hospitals.

“A child born with a cleft needs timely and comprehensive cleft care and our aim is to facilitate the same, free of cost. With Oracle’s support, we will further strengthen our programs in Hyderabad and bring comprehensive cleft care to many more children. We thank Oracle for their generosity and look forward to creating an impact together,” said Mamta Carroll, Vice President and Regional Director-Asia, Smile Train.

“We are proud to support Smile Train India, which transforms children’s lives and life prospects daily, and builds capacity in the local medical community to do more of the same,” said Colleen Cassity, Executive Director, Oracle Corporate Citizenship.