What are the Jefferson Awards?
The Jefferson Awards were founded in 1972 by Sam Beard, Jacqueline Kennedy and Senator Robert Taft to honor people who perform outstanding community service. The awards are the official volunteer recognition program of the U.S. Senate and the White House. A select group of New Jersey honorees participate in the National Ceremony each June in Washington, D.C.
Who coordinates the New Jersey initiative?
The New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards program is administrated jointly by The Community Foundation of New Jersey, The Star-Ledger/NJ.com, and The Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism with support from outstanding corporate underwriters.
Why are the volunteer awards important to New Jersey?
Honor individual or group volunteer efforts that achieve measurable community impact and represent outstanding acts of public service without the expectation of recognition or compensation. Recipients demonstrate unique vision, dedication and tenacity of heroic proportion and serve as inspiration for others to respond to the call to action.
When is the deadline for nominations?
The deadline is February 15, 2013.
What are the award categories?
We have a variety of categories. These can be found under the category tab on the main page.
What should the essay address?
Submit a 300 word essay that includes the following information:
- How the nominee has impacted the community-specifically what is the beneficial outcome (to others) of their efforts.
- How the nominee's service to community is exceptional and deserving of the Jefferson Award, including length of service if appropriate.
- At the end of your essay please include contact information for one or more individuals who could also discuss the nominee's service.
Visit http://www.nj.com/helpinghands/jeffersonawards/ to read about other honorees and see what they’ve accomplished. This will give you a sense of what judges look for in an essay.
Who selects the honorees?
Representatives of The Community Foundation of New Jersey and The Star-Ledger are responsible for making the selections. The Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism assists in the selection process.
When will winners be notified?
Honorees will be notified via e-mail by the end of March.
When and where is the New Jersey awards ceremony?
The 2012 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards Ceremony took place on May 1, 2012 in Newark Museum, where honorees were honored at a reception of hundreds of guests. This year’s date/location have not been announced.
What type of award will honorees receive?
Honorees will be presented with a Jefferson Awards Medal and a certificate of recognition signed by Lt. Governor/Secretary of State Kim Guadagno (State of New Jersey), Linda Bowden (President, PNC Northern New Jersey), Sam Beard (Co-Founder of the Jefferson Awards). Other signatures may include one of our program underwriters (BD, PSEG, State Farm & Verizon).
Are honorees expected to speak at the ceremony?
Honorees are NOT expected to speak at the ceremony. An abbreviated version of each nomination essay will be read by a member of the awards committee. As the essay is read, the honoree will proceed to the front of the theater for a photo with the award presenters.
Can honorees bring guests?
Honorees of Individual Award categories my bring up to three guests. Honorees of the Group Award categories may bring up to four representatives. Nominators may bring one guest.