Effort under way to recognize Utah’s top youth volunteers
Published: September 4, 2012 08:01AM
Updated: December 25, 2012 11:31PM

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is launching its search for Utah’s top youth volunteers of 2013.

Students in grades five through 12 are invited to apply for an award if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months.

The awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, were created in 1995 to recognize middle school and high school students for helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment or volunteering in other ways. They are presented annually on the local, state and national level.

Youth volunteers can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit.

Applicants for 2013 awards must complete their online applications by Nov. 6, then submit them for certification to a middle school or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H Agent, American Red Cross Chapter, YMCA or affiliate of the HandsOn Network. Paper copies of the form can be requested by calling 877-525-8491.

Utah’s top youth volunteers of 2012 were Eric Babb, 16, of Highland, and Morgan Barron, 13, of Riverton.

Babb was honored for educating more than 2,200 people over the past five years about harmful invasive weeds and has mobilized hundreds of individuals to help remove them from a wilderness park near his home.

Morgan was recognized for spearheading several initiatives to grow vegetables for the hungry, involving more than 100 youth volunteers and resulting in nearly 1,500 pounds of produce donated to a food bank.