Youth volunteer nominees sought

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards has beguns its search for New Hampshire’s top youth volunteers of 2016.

The annual national awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honors students in grades 5-12 who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

Through Tuesday, Nov. 3, middle school and high school students are invited to apply for Prudential Spirit of Community Awards at

The top middle and high school volunteer in each state will receive $1,000, a silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for several days of national recognition events. State-level runners-up will receive bronze medallions or certificates of excellence.

In Washington, 10 national honorees will be named America’s top youth volunteers of the year. They will be presented $5,000 personal awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies for their nominating schools or organizations, and $5,000 Prudential Foundation grants for charities of their choice.

All middle and high schools, as well as local chapters of Girl Scouts, 4-H, American Red Cross, YMCA and HandsOn Network, can select local honorees for state-level judging.

New Hampshire’s top youth volunteers of 2015 were Daniel Iacopucci, 18, of Belmont, and Elizabeth Hughes, 11, of Bedford.

Iacopucci, New Hampshire’s top high school volunteer, created a picnic area and perennial garden along the Winnepesaukee-Opechee-Winnisquam Trail, a paved walking and biking trail in a neighboring community.

Elizabeth, New Hampshire’s top middle level volunteer, spent eight weeks over the last two years volunteering in foreign countries with her family, donating supplies and working on construction projects.