Students in grades 5-12 were invited Tuesday to apply for 2018 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 Applications can be submitted from Tuesday through November 7.

“The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for California’s top youth volunteers of the year,” according to a statement.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, was created in 1995 “to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle level and high school students,” it said. The awards have been granted annually for the past 22 years on the local, state and national level.

“We’ve learned over the past two decades that young people are doing innovative, important work to improve communities at home and abroad,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We honor their contributions in the hope that their example will inspire others to consider what they can do to make a difference.”

California’s top youth volunteers of 2017 were Meghana Reddy, 18, of La Mesa, who uses 3D printing technology to produce artificial hands for children and adults in several countries who cannot afford commercial prostheses, and Kenan Pala, 13, of San Diego, who launched an initiative to benefit homeless people by raising money for local shelters, coordinating meals each quarter at shelter kitchens, and organizing a record-setting cereal donation event.

—City News Service

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