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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Guess what, Heroes? I learned recently about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, and boy is it neat. The program honors students in middle and high school who are outstanding volunteers in their community. Who knows? You might live close to one. There’s a list by state of this years honorees.

The awards program was created in 1995, and is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. Each year, the judges select two honorees and several finalists for each state and the District of Colombia. Honorees receive $1000, a silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC. On the trip they tour landmarks, attend an awards gala, and visit congressional representatives.

On May 7 of this year, ten of the State Honorees will be named National Honorees. Those individuals will receive additional $5000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies, and $500 grants to the nonprofit organization of their choice.

The trip and attention is designed to thank the students for their hard work, but also to recognize their amazingness and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

If you know of a kid who’s doing wonderful work in your community, why not nominate him or her for the 2013 awards?

Want to motivate your own kids? Prudential has a wonderful page of volunteer ideas that can inspire all of us. Check it out!

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to encourage volunteers.

Image courtesy of USACEpublicaffairs via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.