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Youth Service Awards

The Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is pleased to present the inaugural Youth Service Awards. The Youth Service Awards will recognize Maryland youth and youth groups, ages 11 to 18 years old, for their significant volunteer contributions to the state and its citizens, and for their work to change Maryland for the better. This year, the awards will recognize volunteer service occurring in 2018 and 2019. Up to 10 recipients will be selected to receive an award at a special ceremony in late summer.

Recipients of the Youth Service Awards must exemplify the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate 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 exceptional acts of kindness; and
  • Through volunteerism, have an impact on the greater community.

The nomination period for the Youth Service Awards has closed.

Eligibility

Any individual youth or youth group volunteers, ages 11 to 18 years old, who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to Maryland through significant and direct volunteer service in 2018 and 2019 can be nominated. The nominee’s volunteer service must have occurred in Maryland and must have been for the direct benefit of Maryland citizens and/or the environment. The volunteer service must not be provided for the sole benefit of a for-profit business.

  • Nominees must be ages 11 to 18 during 2019. Nominees may not be older than 18 years old in 2019.
  • Self-nominations or nominations of family members will not be accepted.
  • Volunteer service must be performed outside the context of the nominee’s paid employment.
  • Past recipients of the Governor’s Service Awards program may not be nominated for the Youth Service Awards.
  • Youth should not be nominated for their financial contributions or fundraising, political advocacy, or for administrative roles in the nominating agency.
  • No more than three nominations will be accepted from any individual nominator.
  • Multiple submissions for the same individual by the same nominator will not be accepted (i.e., do not submit two or more nominations for the same nominee).

The Nomination Process

Each nomination must include contact information for the nominee and nominator, biographical details about the youth or youth group nominee, 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. What motivates the youth or youth group to volunteer?
  2. What were outcomes of the youth or youth group’s service from 2018 to 2019? Provide quantitative data citing number of volunteer hours provided, number of people served, etc., that shows results of the volunteer service activities.
  3. What made the youth or youth group’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 Youth Service Awards. View an outline of the nomination form.

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.

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 August.

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 Cathy Steele, Executive Assistant, Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives by email at cathy.steele@maryland.gov.