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Governor’s Service Awards

The Governor’s Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism each year. The Governor’s Service Awards recognizes Marylanders for their significant volunteer contributions to the state and its citizens and their work to change Maryland for the better. This year, the awards recognized volunteer service during 2018 (or longer for the lifetime achievement award). The awards were held October 21, 2019; read more here:

Recipients of the Governor’s Service Awards must exemplify the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate sustained volunteer commitment to meeting Maryland’s most pressing human and/or environmental community needs;
  • Engage in meaningful volunteer service that makes a measurable difference in the community;
  • Represent extraordinary acts of generosity and kindness; and
  • Through volunteerism, have an impact on the greater community.

Important Note: Nominations will not be accepted for youth or youth groups in the Governor’s Service Awards; instead, youth and youth groups may be nominated in the new Youth Service Awards program. Learn more:

The nomination period for the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards has closed.

The Nomination Process

Each nomination must include contact information for the nominee and nominator, the selected award category (only one per nomination), and a nomination narrative. Nominators are expected to notify the individual or group before submitting their nomination for consideration. Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

For each question in the nomination narrative, please describe the nominee’s service and contributions to the community. Each answer should be written in paragraph form (i.e. not as a bulleted list) and contain under 1,000 characters. The questions in the nomination narrative are:

  1. Provide a brief summary about the nominee. Please include biographical information for individuals and organizational data for groups.
  2. What motivated the nominee to volunteer/why was the group created?
  3. What were outcomes of the nominee’s service in 2018 (or longer if a lifetime achievement nominee)? Provide quantitative data citing number of volunteer hours provided, number of people served, etc., that shows results of the volunteer service activities.
  4. What made this nominee’s volunteer service extraordinary? Provide anecdotal information, such as stories and quotes to demonstrate the non-measurable impact of the nominee’s volunteerism.

The narrative will be the only information used to select the recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards. View a sample nomination. Learn about last year’s recipients.

In addition to the nomination review, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism will use the narrative in parts or its entirety on social media, on the website, and in awards event materials.

Award Categories

Nominations will be accepted in these categories:

  • Emerging Leader: An individual (age 19 to 30) who volunteers.
  • Individual: An individual (age 31 or older) who volunteers.
  • Lifetime Achievement: An individual who has exhibited 20 years or more of commitment to volunteerism and community service. Nominees must have made a substantial and long-term sustained impact in the community as a result of their service efforts.
  • AmeriCorps Alum: A Maryland AmeriCorps Alum whose commitment to embody service beyond their term of AmeriCorps service continues to bring about positive community change. Alums must have served in the 2017-2018 service year or before.
  • National Service: An individual member of a National Service program (AmeriCorps or Senior Corps) who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service during the 2018-2019 service term. The service must be above and beyond the requirements of the designated program.
  • Corporate Business: A corporation or business that has made a substantial impact in the community by promoting service to their employees through engaging in volunteer activities and/or by providing paid time for employees to volunteer for local organizations and/or agencies.
  • Small Business: A corporation or business of 50 employees or less that has made a substantial impact in the community by promoting service to their employees through engaging in volunteer activities and/or providing paid time for employees to volunteer for local organizations and/or agencies.
  • Faith-Based: An individual, family, group/team, or youth that volunteers through a faith-based community organization.
  • First Responder: Any individual employed in an emergency service occupation whose service has gone above and beyond the call of duty in a capacity outside of paid employment.
  • Government Employee/Agency: A government employee or agency at the local, state, or federal level that has provided outstanding volunteer service to the state outside of regular work operations.
  • Group/Team: A group or team of two or more people that volunteer together on the same project(s) under a group or team name.
  • Member of the Board: An individual serving on a board or commission whose service to the community has gone above and beyond their board commitment. Nomination should clearly explain board commitment requirements.
  • Nonprofit Volunteer Program: A nonprofit whose volunteers have shown exemplary service in carrying out the mission of the organization through direct service to the community.
  • Veteran: An individual who has served or is serving in the armed forces and volunteers in a Maryland community in a capacity outside of paid employment.

Review, Selection, and Notification

Each nomination received by the posted deadline will be reviewed by a panel of community leaders, volunteers, and staff of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. Nominations will be scored and ranked, based on eligibility. Following a fact-checking process, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism will notify each recipient of his/her selection. Each recipient and guests will be invited to an awards ceremony in the Fall.

Please note: All selected recipients must provide digital photographs for promotional use on social media, website, and in awards event materials upon notification of award selection.


Contact Cathy Steele, Executive Assistant, Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives by email at