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Two Students Receive 2024 President’s Volunteer Service Award

Two New Hartford Central School District seniors in the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Career and Technical Education programs were recently announced as recipients of the 2024 President’s Volunteer Service Award, certified by SkillsUSA. Mikeal Hawkins (Welding) was recognized at the gold level of service and Maggie O'Donnell (Automotive Technology) was recognized at the silver level of service.

Founded in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. The award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too. To be eligible for the award, young adults, ages 16-25, must meet the number of hours designated in a consecutive 12-month period to reach the bronze (100–174 hours), silver (175–249 hours) or gold (250+ hours) levels of service.

“Community service is a big part of what SkillsUSA and our chapter, in particular, are all about,” said John Stratton, OHM BOCES Automotive Technology instructor and SkillsUSA co-advisor. “These students are outstanding examples of the efforts that our students make throughout the year to give back to their community.”

The students will each receive an official lapel pin, personalized certificate of achievement and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.

To apply for the award, students documented their volunteer activities and the number of hours served; had them verified by SkillsUSA, which serves as a Certifying Organization for the program; and submitted a letter of nomination from their SkillsUSA advisor along with proof of SkillsUSA membership.

“We are so proud of the altruistic nature of these students and the time and effort they have dedicated to serving others,” said Michael Hoover, OHM BOCES Career and Technical Education Principal. “These behaviors will lead to success regardless of the path they choose after graduation.”

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry professionals working together to offer leadership and citizenship development to complement students’ career and technical education (CTE) skills training. Chapters and their members are also able to participate in local, state and national SkillsUSA competitions.