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Governor’s Service Awards

The Governor’s Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism annually. The 2021 Governor’s Service Awards recognizes Marylanders for their significant volunteer contributions to the state and its citizens between June 2020 and September 2021* (*exceptions apply for specific award categories).

“The 38th Annual Governor’s Service Awards will recognize innovative, responsive, caring Marylanders across our state making a difference who exemplify the true character of service by demonstrating the ability to overcome any challenge and help others,” said Nicki Fiocco, Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. Please submit a nomination if there is someone in your life that you believe should be recognized for their exceptional volunteerism.

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.

The nomination period for the 2021 Governor’s Service Awards is OPEN.

The Nomination Process

Nominators are expected to assist in notifying selected individual(s) or group.

Each nomination will include:

  • the contact information for the nominee and nominator,
  • location of volunteerism,
  • duration of volunteerism,
  • selected award category,
  • and nomination narrative.

Answers to the nomination narrative should be written in paragraph form (i.e. not as a bulleted list) and contain under 1,000 characters. Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. The deadline for submission is Friday,  October 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Nomination Narrative:

  1. Please provide a brief bio for the nominated individual(s).
    • If you are nominating an organization, please provide a brief bio of the organization.
  2. Quantitative Data: What was the impact of the nominee’s volunteerism between June 2020 and September 2021* (*except for the Lifetime Achievement, AmeriCorps Alum, and National Service award)? Provide quantitative data citing number of volunteer hours provided, number of people served, etc., that shows results of the volunteer service activities.
  3. Qualitative Data: 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.

Options to Submit Nomination:

  • Submit a virtual written nomination, here.
  • Print this file and mail your physical nomination response, here:
    • ATTN: The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism – 2021 GSA
      100 Community Place
      Crownsville, MD 21032
  • Alternative Submission Options – Verbal & ASL
    Any nominator may choose to submit the nomination narrative verbally or with American Sign Language. To submit:

    • email a .mp3 file (maximum 3 minutes per answer) to gosv.md@maryland.gov
    • email a .mp4 or .MOV file (maximum 3 minutes per answer) of your ASL submission to gosv.md@maryland.gov

The form submission will be the only information used to select the recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Service Awards. Learn more about previous recipients: 2020, 201920182017, and 2016.

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:

  • Maryland Strong: An individual or organization that made an extraordinary contribution to Maryland communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Hometown Hero: An individual or group that benefited a local community through a single act or longer effort. 
  • AmeriCorps Alum: A Maryland AmeriCorps Alum whose commitment to embody service beyond their term of AmeriCorps service continues to bring about positive community change. 
  • Corporate Business: A corporation or business investing in exceptional, transformative employee volunteering that fuels employee fulfillment and fosters increased civic engagement in the community.
  • Emerging Leader: An individual or group who recently took initiative to meet a community need through local organizing and volunteering.
  • 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.
  • Faith-Based: An individual, family, group/team, or youth that volunteers through a faith-based community organization.
  • 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: A group or team of two or more people that volunteer together on the same project(s) under a group or team name.
  • Individual: An individual who volunteers.
  • Lifetime Achievement: An individual who has a record of 20 years or more in volunteerism and community service. 
  • National Service: An individual member of any National Service program (AmeriCorps, VISTA, or Senior Corps) who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service beyond the requirements of the designated program.
  • 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.
  • Small Business: A corporation or business (of 50 employees or less) investing in exceptional, transformative employee volunteering that fuels employee fulfillment and fosters increased civic engagement in the community.
  • Veteran: An individual who has served or is serving in the armed forces and volunteers in a Maryland community outside of paid employment. 
  • Volunteer Program: A program whose volunteers have shown exemplary service in carrying out the mission of the organization.
  • Youth: An individual (age 18 or younger) who volunteers.

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 by early November. Each recipient and guests will be invited to an awards ceremony in November.

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.

Questions?

Contact Joanna Chen, Outreach & Communications Coordinator, Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism by email at joanna.chen@maryland.gov.

Looking for other recognition opportunities?

Consider submitting a request for a Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate to recognize significant volunteer contributions. Learn more, here: gosv.maryland.gov/volunteer-recognition/.

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