The morning of St. Patrick’s Day, dozens of local Delaware high schools filed into Purnell Hall here on our campus. With their speeches and presentations ready and rehearsed, the students thought back to recall all their volunteer work as a school over the past year. Events like zumba-thons, dancing events, school volunteer awareness days and even recruiting new high schools to participate in the Jefferson Awards.
The Jefferson Awards date back to 1972 with a goal of creating a Nobel Prize for public service. Their mission states, “to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.” With all the tremendous organizations and groups throughout the country, adolescent volunteers are often forgotten. The Jefferson Awards then created a program called Students in Action in 2006 that is a national youth leadership program. It is now active in 325 high schools across the country and encourages young students to become more involved in service.
In order to compete with the Jefferson Awards, each high school must complete 7 goals created by the Students in Action organization. These goals involve expanding volunteer communication and recruiting various other high schools.
The competition today proved how motivated and eager students in the local area are for service and giving back to their communities. Schools that do not even require service hours for graduation are currently involved and enjoying planning volunteering events in their schools. High school students are even creating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to increase volunteering opportunities and awareness throughout their school.
Gold, Silver and Bronze banners were awarded to each high school that participated in the Delaware Jefferson Awards. Alexis A. I. DuPont High School, Cape Henlopen High School, Caravel Academy, Dover High School, and William Penn High School were awarded bronze. Silver went to the Charter School of Wilmington, McKean High School, Red Lion Christian Academy, Sussex Technical High School, Tower Hill School and Ursuline Academy. Gold went to Padua Academy, Newark High School, and St. Elizabeth High School.
Overall, these high schools all over the state of Delaware have a strong passion and enthusiasm for service in their school and their community.
Image courtesy of: http://www.studentsinaction.org/where-we-are/delaware/delaware-blog