History of the Jefferson Awards - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

History of the Jefferson Awards

In 1972, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard founded the American Institute for Public Service, a 501c3 public foundation, to establish a Nobel Prize for public and community service - The Jefferson Awards.

The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. National award recipients represent a "Who's Who" of outstanding Americans. The national awards are given in five categories:

  • Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official
  • Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen
  • Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged
  • Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Younger
  • Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community
  • Past winners of the national award include Cesar Chavez, Jimmy Carter, Walter Cronkite, General Colin Powell, Arthur Ashe, Paul Newman and Lance Armstrong among many others.

On the local level, Jefferson Awards recipients are ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward. By honoring the Jefferson Award recipients, it is the goal of the American Institute for Public Service to inspire others to become involved in community and public service.

By last count, the Jefferson Awards had 148 Media Partners in 93 communities, setting an all-time record. The Jefferson Awards s is the nation's largest media partnership highlighting service to America.

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