Georgia Student Service Award

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PURPOSE
In an effort to engage high school (grades 9-12) aged youth in service and to support the development of Georgia’s citizens who are committed to life-long service to their communities, the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism (GCSV) instituted the Georgia Student Service Award (GSSA). The goal of this award is to recognize teenagers who make significant contributions in their communities through volunteer service. 

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."- Mahatma Gandhi  

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY
To qualify for the Georgia Student Service Award, a graduating senior student must complete a minimum of 300 service/volunteer hours. Graduating seniors who reach the milestone will receive a certificate and a red/white/blue service cord to be worn at graduation ceremonies.

To participate, a member of the school staff must act as sponsor/administrator and submit student information and service hours using the online registration link. The sponsor/administrator is responsible for certifying student hours. This record of service may only include direct contact hours/ hours on task, although students may count participation hours from all 5 stages (IPARC/D) of a service-learning project.

QUALIFICATION DEADLINES
Graduating seniors must have ALL eligible (300) hours submitted by March 31, 2019 to qualify for the award. No exceptions will be made. The school sponsor/administrator must submit the sum of eligible hours via the GSSA spreadsheet in the GCSV system  for their graduating seniors to qualify for the award.

ELIGIBLE SERVICE/VOLUNTEERISM
Service can be performed through school sponsored activities and/or through outside organizations such as churches, Boy/Girl Scouts and other civic clubs. Both public and private schools are eligible to participate in the Georgia Student Service Award program. Home schooled students may also participate if hours can be certified by an adult. Schools may have students log their hours using their certification form. The type of documentation should be submitted to the sponsor/administrator by early April. After the school staff registers with our system, service hours for Senior students can be entered by the sponsor/administrator as they are completed. Please note that court-ordered service does not qualify a student for this award.

The GCSV is the division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) whose mission is the promotion and support of service and volunteerism by Georgians in communities across the State.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can participate in the Georgia Student Service Award (GSSA)?
A: Senior High School Students
 
Q: What is the criterion for the GSSA?
A: To qualify for the Georgia Student Service Award, a graduating senior student must complete a minimum of 300 service/volunteer hours.
 
Q: Where can we find a form for logging hours of my service and community hours?
A: Typically school sponsor/administrator have created a form that they want students to submit to them by a certain date.This form should include the actual number of hours, location/organization, and signatures of the volunteer site supervisor and parent.  
 
Q: Can an organization other than a school register students for the Georgia Student Service Award?
A: Schools and students can only be registered in the system once, therefore schools have the sole authority to register and enter their students’ information. If a school wishes to delegate this responsibility to another organization, that organization must have written authority from the school to act on its behalf. If the organization is an outside club (ex: 4-H) they must agree to register not only the students participating in the organization’s activities, but also any other student from that school who wishes to participate in the Georgia Student Service Award program.
 
Q: When is the deadline for submissions?
A: Graduating seniors must have ALL eligible hours submitted by March 31st  to qualify for the award. No exceptions will be made. Only Senior hours submitted by the sponsor/administrator by the date will be considered.
 
Q: Can private schools, faith-based schools or charter schools participate in the GSSA?
A: Yes both public and private high school students may participate.
 
Q: Can home schooled students participate?
A: Yes, home schooled students may participate as long as an appropriate adult (parent or teacher) registers and confirms the student's number of service hours.
 
Q: What exactly is the award?
A: Graduating seniors who reach the milestone will receive a certificate and a red, white and blue service honor cord to be worn at graduation ceremonies.
 
Q: Who registers on the website?
A: Each school should have only one staff member acting as sponsor/administrator to register their school on this website. That same person is then responsible for submitting student information and service hours.  The registration link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GSSA2019  
 
Q: Who is responsible for certifying student service hours?
A: The sponsor/administrator is responsible for certifying student hours. By submitting Senior student information and hours into the GSSA system, the sponsor/administer is certifying that the student has satisfactorily provided proof of service and deserves the GSSA.
 
Q: What qualifies as volunteer service?
A: Student service may only include direct contact hours/ hours on task.
 
Q: Do service-learning hours count?
A: Quality Service-learning is encouraged by GCSV and students may count participation hours from all 5 stages (IPARC/D) of a service-learning project
(See Learning Resources page for more information on service-learning)
 
Q: Do only the hours from school-sponsored activities count towards the GSSA?
A: No, service can be performed through school sponsored activities and/or through outside organizations such as churches, Boy Scouts and other clubs as long as the sponsor/administrator secures adequate documentation from those organizations.
 
Q: Can court-ordered service hours be counted for the GSSA?
A: No, court -ordered service does not qualify a student for this award.
 
Q: What does the cord look like?
A: The cord is red, white, and blue intertwined.
 
Q: What is the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism?
A: GCSV is the division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) whose mission is the promotion and support of service and volunteerism by Georgians in communities across the State. Major GCSV initiatives include: AmeriCorps, the Martin Luther King Advisory Board and the First Saturday Disaster Response Initiative.
 
Q: Why participate in service or volunteering while in high school?
A: There are many benefits!  More importanly you will find satisfaction in helping to make a difference in your community. This is great opportunity for you to prepare for the future by gaining an awareness of social issues and becoming aware of local organizations. Finally, you can cultivate new relationships and networks with persons outside of your school, family and social groups.