Program Purpose

What is PublicServiceNV?

PublicServiceNV was established as a nonprofit organization in 2014 in response to an enlightenment of its founding member—and current President—Senator Valerie Wiener (Retired.). After her retirement from office, Senator Wiener realized that one of the highest levels of public service is to honor other individuals for theirs! Therefore, the mission of PublicServiceNV is to engage, educate, and recognize individuals in Nevada whose service enriches their communities. In particular, PublicServiceNV is working with youth to expand their civic engagement and contributions to their communities.

How does PublicServiceNV engage, educate, and recognize youth?

The Serve.Learn.Inspire. Civic Engagement Education Program teaches students through curriculum and highly interactive activities about the benefits of community service. The Gratitude Awards Program honors students who complete a public service project and are selected to receive an award.

Eligibility

Who can participate in the Gratitude Awards Program?

Students in the Clark County School District who attend schools or are enrolled in programs that are participating in the Serve.Learn.Inspire. : Civic Engagement Education Program.

Do I need any particular education or skills to apply?

No. What you do need is a strong interest in making a positive difference in your community.

Is there a GPA requirement?

No.

Projects

What kinds of projects would qualify for a Gratitude Award?

The Gratitude Awards Program includes five award categories: Animal Welfare; Education; Health and Wellness; Human Kindness; and Public Safety and Justice. These categories were selected, based on input from students. You should design a project that positively impacts your community, as well as providing opportunities for you to learn new skills that benefit you and others. You can create a one-time activity, an ongoing project, or anything in between. You can do it yourself or ask friends to join your team. Whatever project you choose, be creative about whom you serve and how you do it!

How do I come up with an idea for a project?

First things first. What does your community need? Then, think about what you (and your team) can do to answer that need. The action steps you decide to take are the framework for your project. Learn about your community by talking to people, such as friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, spiritual leaders, and others. Listen to them. These conversations can help you learn about the things you did not know and share ideas about what needs to be addressed.

May I apply as an individual or do I need to apply with a team?

You can apply as an individual; a small team (2 to 10 students); or a large team (11 or more students).

May I submit an application for a project I have already completed?

No. Participating in the Gratitude Awards Program involves something new that you (and your team) choose to create and make happen, during the time period between August 19, 2019, and December 9, 2019.

What if I am already involved in a current project with another organization (school, church, community organization). May I submit this for consideration?

No. Though we appreciate your civic engagement with a current project, the Gratitude Awards Program prefers to recognize students for their creative innovation and engagement that inspires them to initiate their own projects.

Am I required to have a certain number of hours of service related to my project?

There is no minimum number of hours required. However,  we encourage you to spend as much time as you need to ensure that you deliver amazing results. You will keep a log, which you will access through a form that we will provide to you after you complete Step Two: Registration. This log will help you track who is doing what and enable you to monitor your project in effective ways. Also, you will submit information from your log when you complete the online form for Step 3: Submission.

Am I limited to entering only one project?

Yes.

May I enter the same project in more than one category?

No. You will need to determine which category best fits your project and why the category you select is the most appropriate.

Is an adult required to participate in the project? Are adults allowed to participate in the project?

Adults are not required. Adults are allowed to participate only in a support role. In addition, you will have access to a Faculty Champion at your school who can assist you with questions you might have.

Does PublicServiceNV provide me with financial support to do the project?

No. PublicServiceNV encourages you to create projects that do not require funding, though this decision is up to you. Certainly, there are opportunities for others to contribute to your project.

Application Process

How do I apply to participate in the Gratitude Awards Program?

Participating in the Gratitude Awards Program is a three-step online process, which runs from August 19, 2019, to December 9, 2019. Step 1 is Sign Up, Step 2 is Registration, and Step 3 is Submission.

Can I download my application? If so, then how do I submit it?

No, applications cannot be downloaded. All applications and attachments are completed and submitted online.

Do I need to be nominated for an award? Do I need a letter of recommendation?

No. Interested youth can go to PublicServiceNV.org and apply directly online.

Step 1: Sign Up

When does Sign Up begin and when does it end?

Step 1 of the online application process, which is Sign Up, runs from August 19, 2019, to September 11, 2019. During this time, you can go to Step 1: Sign Up and fill out a form online. This creates an account for you on the PublicServiceNV website. Signing up does not obligate you to do a project.

Step 2: Registration

When does Registration begin and when does it end?

Registration runs from August 19, 2019, to September 25, 2019. Once you have decided whether to enter as an individual or team, you must submit a Registration form by going to Step 2: Registration.

Individual: If you are registering as an individual, you will fill in the Registration form. PublicServiceNV will then send you a form that you will use to track your volunteer hours.

Team: If you are planning to do a team project, you must select a team leader. The team leader is responsible for submitting one Registration form for the team. The name and email address must be provided for each team member on the Registration form. Once the Registration form has been submitted, PublicServiceNV will send team leader a form that you will use to track your volunteer hours.

What happens after I register to create a project?

Once you complete your Registration form online, you will receive a link to a form on which you will document your volunteer hours. Get started with your project right away! You will want to consider and act upon the following:

  • What does my community need, and how can I engage others in determining this need?
  • What is my project, and how can it meet this need?
  • How can I involve other people in creating and delivering my project?
  • What resources can I use to complete my project and accomplish my goal(s)?
  • What impact can the project have?
  • Is this project something that can be done again, continue on a regular basis, or be expanded to serve others in powerful and positive ways?
  • Is there something that specifically distinguishes my project? If so, what?
  • What lessons can I teach others from this experience?

Step 3: Submission

When does Submission begin and when does it end?

Submission, which is Step 3 of the online application process, runs from the time you register at PublicServiceNV.org until December 9, 2019.

Can I change the size of my team or the category of my entry after I register?

Yes. We want you to feel comfortable and flexible with the emergence of your project. You might determine that, as an individual, you want to include more people in your project. Or, the size of your original team might shift up or down between your Registration and your Submission. Also, as you progress with your project, it is not uncommon that you might choose to change it from what you originally planned. With changes, you might also determine that you need to switch to a category that is different from the one you originally selected in Registration.

What do I need to submit with my application to be considered for a Gratitude Award?

Once you have completed you project, go to the Submission form and submit it by December 9, 2019. You will submit this form online with attachments that detail your final project. Attachments include: two to four pictures and an optional project video (maximum of three minutes). You will also need to complete a form showing your volunteer hours.

Evaluation Process

Who will be evaluating the entries?

Each category will involve a panel of evaluators, who are well informed about the subject matter of that category.

What will evaluators be considering when they review my application?

Evaluators will consider the following:

  • Does the project meet a particular need in the community?
  • How did you engage others in determining this need?
  • What is your project, and how does it specifically address the need that you have identified?
  • How did you involve other people in creating and delivering your project?
  • What resources did you use to complete your project and accomplish your goal(s)?
  • What impact did the project have (comparing where you were when you started to where you were when you completed it)?
  • Is this project something that can be done again, continue on a regular basis, or be expanded to serve others in powerful and positive ways?
  • Is there something that specifically distinguishes your project? If so, what?
  • What lessons can you teach others from this experience?

When and how will PublicServiceNV notify me about the award decision?

Gratitude Awards recipients will be notified by February 2020. Not everyone who submits a project will receive a Gratitude Award. However, if they successfully complete the three-step application process, each team member will receive a PublicServiceNV “Certificate of Contribution.”

Recognition and More!

If I receive a Gratitude Award, what does this recognition include?

The expansive Gratitude Awards Program will deliver significant benefits, which include:

    • Recognizing youth with an award certificate.
    • Rewarding youth financially by making donations in their names to area nonprofits and/or schools.
    • Teaching youth with award-winning leadership and civic-engagement training materials.
    • Honoring the great contributions of these youth through the publication and distribution of a Gratitude Awards Digest to Clark County education leaders. The Digest will also be posted on PublicServiceNV.org and will list the recipients and their schools and describe the recipients’ projects.

How will my receiving a Gratitude Award affect me and how I lead and teach others?

The entire project experience can transform you and those affected by your commitment and actions. With each step you take to address a need, you learn and you teach others about resolving community challenges. The Gratitude Awards Program recognizes these essential contributions and provides you with high-level leadership materials that prepare you for your continuity of engagement. Your leadership, which begins with your project, provides you with the skills to engage and inspire others to continue working on your project or address other needs that they identify. These positive demonstrations of civic engagement benefit the people who call Nevada and its communities their “home.”