Jefferson Awards for Public Service
|Industry||Public Service, Non-Profit|
|Founders||Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr, Sam Beard|
The Jefferson Awards Foundation was created in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service as "the most prestigious prize for public service in America."  The Jefferson Awards are given at both national and local levels. Local winners are "Unsung Heroes"— ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition. Local winners come from national networks of "Media Partners" and "Corporate Champions", and from the associated "Students In Action", Lead360 and GlobeChangers programs.
- 1 Mission
- 2 National awards
- 3 History
- 4 Programs
- 5 Partnerships
- 6 List of All Past National Winners
- 7 See also
- 8 References
To recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America. One person can make a difference.
Celebrating giving back to the community, the nation and in some cases the world, the annual Jefferson Awards were bestowed on 15 recipients from throughout the country whose lives, careers and volunteer activities embody the finest examples of public service in a range of human endeavor.
The awards are presented each year during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., during the third week in June, where a broad array of honorees are recognized – from high-profile individuals who have dedicated the better part of their lives to public service to celebrated professional athletes to largely unheralded community-based volunteers. Also recognized are organizations – companies that represent the pinnacle in corporate citizenship and schools that best reflect the Jeffersonian ideals of citizen involvement.
In 1972, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to establish a Nobel Prize for public and community service. The Jefferson Awards is led by the Board of Selectors who choose the national winners and oversee the activities of the organization. Co-founder Sam Beard is currently the President & CEO.
Jefferson Awards Foundation
The Jefferson Awards Foundation is the country’s longest standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to activating and celebrating public service. Through their programs they train and empower individuals to serve and lead in their communities, amplifying their impact through our vast network of media partners, mentors and volunteers.The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a non-profit organization that "recognizes, inspires and activates volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America." The Institute was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard.
Board of Selectors
Board of Selectors include:
- Hank Aaron
- Douglas C. Adams
- George L. Ball
- Susan H. Ball
- Alex Beard
- Hon. Julian Bond
- Hon. Peter G. Bourne
- Cynthia Clay Briggs
- Ellen Burstyn
- Laura W. Bush
- W. Russell Byers, Jr.
- Deanna Castellini
- Andrea Cherny
- Cris Collinsworth
- Hon. Chris Coons
- Tatiana B. Copeland
- Joyce Cowin
- Jonathan Donfeld
- Kirk Douglas
- Michael Douglas
- Albert R. Dowden
- Giselle Fernandez
- Hon. Harold E. Ford, Jr.
- Hon. William H. Frist, M.D.
- Patrick J. Geraghty
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Earl Graves, Sr.
- Paula M. Grigsby
- Teresa Heinz
- Roger Horchow
- Mary Kaye Huntsman
- Dr. Mary King
- Thomas B. King
- Peter Klein
- Michael J. Krupin, CLU
- Rita Benson LeBlanc
- Alex Lopez-Negrete
- Ronnie Lott
- Hon. Trent Lott
- Hon. Richard Lugar
- Patricia M. Lyons
- Paul Maslansky
- Peter Max
- Hon. Mitch McConnell
- Charlene McMann
- Bill Milliken
- Barry Munitz
- Alexandra Nechita
- David P. Nicoli
- Doug Poretz
- Robert C. Provost
- Hon. Harry Reid
- Hon. Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
- Elliott Roosevelt, III
- Jack Russi
- Robert Sakowitz
- Sam Salman
- Barbara Saltzman
- Joseph N. Sanberg
- Stefanie Nicole Saperstein
- Hillary Beard Shafer
- Scott Seaman
- Mark G. Shafir
- Neil Simon
- Lesley Stahl
- Hon. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
- Cynthia Ekberg Tsai
- Jeffrey A. Turi
- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
- Cicely Tyson
- Troy D. Vincent, Sr.
- Chris Wallace
- Hon. Harris Wofford
- Jeffrey P. Yarbro
Beginning in 2004, the Jefferson Awards Foundation retooled their mission. They are now using the history and prestige of the Jefferson Awards to inspire, activate, and recognize volunteering in America. They are placing a special emphasis on youth to pass the tradition of service and leadership on to the next generation.
The Jefferson Awards Foundation is creating a "Call to Action" for volunteers:
- "Through the media, we're inspiring COMMUNITIES."
- "Through Jefferson Awards Champions, we're energizing WORKPLACES."
- "Through The Youth Service Initiative, we're engaging SCHOOLS."
Youth service programs
The Jefferson Awards youth programs include: Students in Action, the LEAD360 Challenge® and GlobeChangers.
Students in Action
Students In Action is a national youth recognition and reward program, designed to pass the tradition of service and volunteerism on to the next generation of young Americans.
Launched in 2006 by the Jefferson Awards For Public Service and Deloitte, Students In Action is a national youth leadership program. Currently active in 325 high schools in 13 communities across the U.S., the program encourages high school students to get engaged and be the change that they wish to see in their communities.
Through this program the Jefferson Awards hope to:
- Build lifelong habits around Service, Leadership and Ethics-the core values of the initiative.
- Double the current level of youth volunteerism and community service on a national level.
- Pass the tradition of Community Service on to young Americans.
Highlighting and promoting Students In Action through Jefferson Awards Media Partners (155 newspapers, radio and television stations in 75 communities all across the country), and with support from Jefferson Awards Champions (leading corporations, universities, local governments and non-profit organizations that partner with The Jefferson Awards to recognize and encourage their employees and retirees to volunteer and help build their local communities), the goal is to get more young Americans participating in community service, recognizing them for their efforts as a means to inspire others.
The LEAD360 Challenge® is open to anyone aged 25 and under, from preschool to college. The focus of Lead360 is to recognize outstanding youth service projects that help make the world a better place. Participants can also share their stories of service, get templates for various types of projects, and learn from other students working on similar issues. In its fourth year, the Challenge and its strategic partners over 5,000 projects were considered, with over 1,000,000 young people engaged from all across the country.
The Jefferson Awards' newest initiative, GlobeChangers, is a social entrepreneurship training system consisting of a streamlined curriculum, interactive website, and personal mentoring component. They specialize in teaching young leaders how to scale horizontally and increase the impact of their service projects. Along the way, they develop the core competencies through hands on experience. Award winners include Ted Gonder, Founder and Executive Director of Moneythink, and Patrick Ip, Founder and CEO of Kip Solutions. http://www.jeffersonawards.org/programs-globe-changers
In 1977, the Jefferson Awards began a partnership with the media. They reached out to newspapers, radio and television stations in local communities and asked them to join in a unique partnership to highlight “Unsung Heroes.” It is claimed that this is America’s largest media partnership promoting grassroots volunteers. The Jefferson Awards has over 125 partners in more than 70 communities. They reach over 100 million Americans. The value of the print and air space exceeds $150 million per year.
The media reaches out to the public seeking nominations. A local selection committee picks the winners who are then honored on air or in print. One local volunteer represents each community at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremonies in Washington, DC in June.
In 2006, they began working with business journals to honor outstanding companies benefiting local communities.
Corporations, Colleges and Universities
In 2006, the Jefferson Awards began inviting corporations, colleges and universities, local governments and non-profits to become Jefferson Awards Champions. Champions recognize outstanding employee volunteers and encourage other employees and retirees to volunteer.
These are cause-marketing partnerships based on bottom-line considerations. Champions join the Jefferson Awards to create a co-branded program that helps them recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and build teamwork and customer loyalty.
The list of Champions includes: Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc., Allstate Insurance, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Aramark, Deloitte, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Eli Lilly, National Grid, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Adobe, AstraZeneca, the University of Toledo, Conseco, the State of Delaware, ReedSmith, Exelon, RCI, Macy’s, Heinz, Highmark, and others.
Each Champion presents a Jefferson Award to an outstanding employee volunteer every month. One outstanding volunteer and the program manager are honored at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremonies in Washington, DC in June.
To help further the goal of reaching over 3 million students, the Jefferson Awards has formed partnerships with national organizations to help initiate service and pass volunteerism onto the next generation.
United States Senate
The Jefferson Awards has a formal partnership with the United States Senate as a result of U.S. Senate Resolution 461, passed June 2, 2006. Senate sponsors included Joseph Biden, Richard Durbin, Trent Lott, and Richard Lugar.
The Jefferson Awards created a National Report on Volunteerism and presented it to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
For over 35 years, the Jefferson Awards has been a key national leader in recognizing and encouraging volunteerism. Through a unique network of Board Members, past recipients, Media Partners, Corporate Champions, Youth Service Partners, youth service programs, and an increasing use of the social media and modern communications to highlight “ordinary people performing extraordinary service.”
The Jefferson Awards used these assets and outreach to make a Specific focused annual report to the U.S. Senate and the White House on volunteerism and community building.
List of All Past National Winners
- "Jefferson Awards". kbtx.com. Atlanta, Georgia: Gray Television. 2011. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
The American Institute for Public Service created the Jefferson Awards in 1972, honoring those who have dedicated time to public service.
- "Capital Region Jefferson Awards honor local volunteers". San Francisco: Hearst Communications. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
- Harris, Dianne (2007), "Chapter 3: Where to find grants & types of grants", The complete guide to writing effective & award winning grants (Google book), Ocala, Florida: Atlantic Publishing Company, p. 84, ISBN 978-1-60138-046-3, OCLC 182779620, retrieved 28 May 2011,
For example, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service are sponsored by media outlets, and awards are given at the local and national levels. The award consists of a specially designed medal and media publicity for the cause of the recipient.
- "Missions & Programs | Jeffersonawards.org". JeffersonAwards.org/Mission. Retrieved 31 May 2011.