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What is Prudential Emerging Visionaries? What happened to the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards?

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is a national recognition program that celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities. It is a collaboration between Prudential Financial and Ashoka, a leading social impact organization.  

For more than two decades, Prudential has recognized more than 150,000 young volunteers across the United States through the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The impressive vision of these young leaders inspired us to reimagine the program, kicking off Prudential Emerging Visionaries in 2021. Today, Prudential Emerging Visionaries continues to celebrate young people, awarding changemakers with fresh perspectives and new solutions to pressing financial and societal challenges in their communities. 

I was recognized as a winner by the 2023 or 2022 Prudential Emerging Visionaries program or The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as a National Honoree or State Honoree. Am I eligible to apply?  

No, past Prudential Emerging Visionaries winners and Prudential Spirit of Community National Honorees and State Honorees are not eligible to apply, even with a new initiative. 

I previously applied to Prudential Emerging Visionaries and/or the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, but I didn’t win. Am I eligible to apply? 

Yes! If you applied but were not a Prudential Emerging Visionaries winner, you are encouraged to re-apply this year! If you have applied to the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in the past but were not a National Honoree or State Honoree, you are also welcome and encouraged to apply. Distinguished finalists may also apply!

I was recognized as a winner of one of Ashoka's other youth challenges. Am I eligible to apply? 

If you are a previous Prudential Emerging Visionaries winner, you are not eligible to apply. Winners of Ashoka's other youth challenges who meet the eligibility criteria are welcome and encouraged to apply. 

Do I have to be a Prudential customer to apply to this challenge? 

No, it is not necessary to be a Prudential customer to apply. 

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen? Are international students studying in the United States eligible to apply? 

U.S. citizenship is not an eligibility requirement. All applicants must either: 

  • Be a legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico. 


  • If you live outside of the United States or Puerto Rico, you must have a parent/legal guardian who is eligible to vote in the United States or Puerto Rico.  

I work with a team. Can multiple people on my team submit an application for our project?  

Yes. A team may choose a representative to apply as an individual, or each leadership member of the team may submit an individual application. Your application will be reviewed as an individual and will not impact the chances of other team members that apply. However, any applications that appear plagiarized, including using segments of a team member’s application, will automatically be disqualified.  

How does the application process work? 

Applications are submitted through this online platform. To apply, create an account and click the "+ Add Project" button underneath the header banner. This will prompt you to submit your project or innovation. You can submit and continue to edit your entry up until the final application deadline (11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023). 

I’m not able to register or log in to submit an application - what should I do?

Make sure you are signing in or creating account through the application page here. When you’re ready to apply and/or login, click on the “Login or Register” button at the top of the page or the blue “+Add Project” button under the image.

If you are receiving an error message, please double check that you are logging into the application page. Contact us at [email protected] or (571) 622-1066 if you have any issues. 

I am having trouble applying online OR I don’t have consistent access to the internet to update and edit my application OR I’m having a technical issue while signing up or with my application. What should I do? 

No problem! Reach out to our team at [email protected] and we will get back to you with an alternative way to apply. 

Do I need to have a pre-existing project in order to apply? 

Yes. Projects must have been started on or before June 1, 2023. 

Which category should I choose: Financial Solutions for a Changing World or Societal Solutions for a Changing World? 

Choose whichever category aligns best with your project! You can change this up until the application deadline (11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023).

Below is further information on the two categories: 

Financial Solutions for a Changing World – Your work or innovation helps your community overcome barriers to financial inclusion and wellbeing. This could mean creating job opportunities in your community, helping people in your community spend, save, borrow, and plan their financial lives, starting an accelerator or other initiative to finance youth-led ventures, and more.  

Societal Solutions for a Changing World – Your work or innovation is creating an equitable and sustainable community that works for the good of all. This could mean working on issues related to the environment, racial justice, education, and more.  

After the application deadline (11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023), Ashoka reviewers may move your entry into a different category if they think it is appropriate to do so.  

Is the Prudential Emerging Visionaries Awards Summit in-person? When is it? 

We are currently planning an in-person event for April 20-23, 2024. If necessary, we will adjust the dates or transition to a virtual event, including for safety reasons. We're working very hard to create an amazing experience for everyone involved!  

I can't make the dates for the Prudential Emerging Visionaries Awards Summit. Can I still apply? 

No, the expectation is that the person who applies will attend the Prudential Emerging Visionaries Awards Summit (along with a parent or guardian). If you don't expect you’ll be able to attend the summit in person, we recommend a co-founder or teammate apply instead. 

Whom should I include as my project references? Do my references need to be Ashoka or Prudential employees or employees of their affiliates? 

References should be adults who know you well and are familiar with your project. They CANNOT be Ashoka employees, Prudential employees, or employees of their affiliates. At least one of your references must be your parent or guardian. Teachers and mentors can also be great references. Just be sure to ask them if they’re willing to be a reference before including their contact information so that they’re not surprised when we contact them! 

What information will the references be asked to provide?

We will send a short survey link to references asking them about your role in your initiative and the impact you have had. It should take less than 10 minutes for your references to complete. Should we have additional questions, we may reach out to a reference via phone.  

Can participants complete the application process without specifying references or can they change references? 

No, you cannot submit an application without references. If you would like to change references before the application deadline, you are welcome to do so by simply editing your application; you cannot, however, change your references after the application deadline, so make sure you speak to them before putting their names down. 

When will references be contacted? 

References are contacted after the final deadline during the review process, which lasts through November and December. 

What type of photos are you looking for me to upload?  

This is up to you! We love seeing your project in action. Be sure you have permission from anyone in the photo before you upload it and remember that all images uploaded are in the public portion of the application. This means that images will be visible to all viewers of the Prudential Emerging Visionaries entry page. 

I published my entry but discovered a typo. Can you help me fix it?  

You can make edits up until our entry deadline of 11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023. To do this, first make sure you are logged in and click on the "Edit" button on the right side of the page above the timeline, then click on the name of the task you wish to edit (e.g. "About your project"). Now click on the 3-dot icon in the corner of the card, select the "Edit" option, and make your edits. Done! No need to re-submit your application, you just have to submit once. 

Remember, all published entries will be locked as of 11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023. To allow for the most fair and equitable review process, we will not be able to make any edits after the deadline.  

What is an Early Entry deadline? If I don’t apply Early Entry, can I still apply later?  

The Early Entry deadline is at 11:59 PM ET on September 28, 2023. Applying Early Entry is an opportunity to get personalized feedback on your project and revise your application before the final deadline of 11:59 PM ET on November 2, 2023. Additionally, two standout Early Entry applications will be chosen to receive $1,000 each. Applying Early Entry is not mandatory, and you can submit your application all the way up to the final deadline!    

I won the Early Entry prize. Does that mean I’m guaranteed to be one of the 25 final winners? 

Congratulations on winning the Early Entry prize! Winning the Early Entry prize, however, does not guarantee that you will become one of the final 25 winners. After the November 2nd entry deadline, the final 25 winners will be chosen from the entire pool of applicants. 

If I win, are there requirements for how I use the money? 

It is our expectation that you will use all of the money in service of your project.  

I want to schedule an information session for my program/class/school – whom should I contact?   

We would love to host a group information session if potential applicants are unable to attend the scheduled sessions or office hours! Reach out to us at  [email protected] to coordinate with our outreach team.   

What size does the image for the banner and card need to be?  

The file size for the banner and card images that will be displayed with your project on our platform cannot exceed 5 Megabytes. The file also needs to be formatted appropriately (types: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tiff). 

I have more questions – whom should I contact?   

You can contact us with additional questions at [email protected]. You can also text our team at (571) 622-1066 or message us on Instagram. 


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