Education Commission Launches Service Award
Apr 01, 2016 12:44PM
By Jennifer Neys
The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)
It has been a long-standing effort of the City of Pleasant Hill to encourage individuals to embrace a spirit of volunteerism. The embodiment of this effort takes hold during the annual Community Service Day each September, where hundreds of volunteers join together for a day of service.
Recognizing that youth make significant contributions to the city, schools, and community on this day and in many other ways, The City of Pleasant Hill, through its Education Commission, is pleased to bring The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) opportunity to youth grades K-12. The PVSA is a national volunteer awards program, encouraging citizens to live a life of service, offering presidential gratitude and national recognition. Through PVSA, Pleasant Hill youth, along with neighboring youth (those who attend school in the College Park feeder pattern) are invited to participate in the PVSA in an effort to earn the award.
Presidential recognition is a tremendous honor. High school students are always looking for ways to bolster their chances of getting into their choice colleges and receiving awards in high school can often improve the odds by proving student’s commitment, time management and leadership skills to college admissions officers. According to Sheila Welsh, College and Career Advisor for College Park High School, "I do not think the award itself particularly strengthens applications, it is the service itself which is important, but if it encourages students to beef up their community service, that will make a difference!"
Some examples of what students in Pleasant Hill are currently doing are: Tutoring at the Pleasant Hill Library, food packaging for Stop Hunger Now, peer tutoring for MDUSD, placing wood chips on the child's playground at the YMCA, event clean-up at Christ the King, helping with school crab feed through the Interact Club, and the Rain Barrel Project at Rogers Ranch through the Rotary of Pleasant Hill.
“Our hope is that this program will grow this spring and summer and into next school year, so that it will spread to all the schools, K-12 public and private, something all schools will take advantage of,” said Education Commission Chair Emily Richards at the February 22 city council meeting. Commissioner Richards added that she would like to jointly recognize each of the students and present their awards at future city council meetings.
Students can submit and track their hours at www.ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us/pvsa. Then, register on the PVSA website at: www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/ and click on the “ Get Involved” tab. Students will then need to join the City of Pleasant Hill team using this Record of Service Key: RNH- 46691. The City of Pleasant Hill will award those who have completed the required number of hours of service, given their age, during the 12-month period of September 1 through August 31. Awards will be presented next fall (before the college application season gets into full swing).