All About the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards

Did you know that every year the United States Government specially recognizes high school students for their community service contributions?

Each year the President’s Council awards the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.  This prestigious honor, which ranks high on college admissions officers’ radars, honors students who have devoted at least 100 hours in one calendar year to service.  There are three levels of recognition:

Bronze Level:  100-174 hours in one calendar year

Silver Level:  175-249 hours in one calendar year

Gold Level:  250+ hours in one calendar year

Your hours must be verified by a Certifying Organization – but almost any nonprofit or charity can become one if they are not already.  Here’s where to get info about becoming a Certifying Organization:  All-in-One Academics is a Certifying Organization, and can verify hours of its students who have made the service hours requirements.

The second service award available is called The Congressional Service award and this one is additive, so you can start as early as 13 ½ years old and the hours will stack up on top of one another.  At each milestone, you’ll get a new award.  The awards come as certificates or as medals, and you can get a bronze, silver, or gold of each.  Medals require more hours than certificates.  Unlike the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Congressional Service Award considers four categories of accomplishment:

  1. Volunteer Public Service:  community service hours
  2. Personal Development:  something you to do improve yourself
  3. Physical Fitness:  push yourself to go to the next level in a physical activity
  4. Expedition/Exploration:  immerse yourself in an unfamiliar environment

To qualify for the Congressional Award, you’ll need an adult sponsor – anyone except a parent, relative, or friend.

These types of awards can make a huge impact on your college applications – so get out there and try to use your time wisely!  You’ll help your chances of getting into the college of your dreams AND you’ll be make a positive impact on the world.  Perfect!