As many as 200 Dublin City School students and staff will be recognized for helping others this spring.
Nominations are being accepted for the Community Champion Awards, born from a partnership between the school district and the Dublin Chamber Civic Foundation.
The awards are aimed at students and district staff who show leadership, volunteerism, character and a sense of caring and responsibility for others through service.
"This really supports students and teachers," said Jenny Jakse, chamber chief operating officer. "The goal is to recognize students who have done good things so they grow up and continue to do good things."
About 400 nominations are received annually for the eight-year-old program and anywhere from 160 to 200 are chosen to be honored.
"The program was modeled after a business award program. Anyone in the public is able to nominate a student in grades 4-12 at Dublin City Schools and staff," Jakse said. "We collect those nominations then have a group and business people as well as some school staff and volunteers rank them."
Paring down nominations by half is often difficult.
"It is actually really moving when you read all the nominations. I read every single one of them," Jakse said. "There are extremely touching things they've done, whether it be for things in Dublin or across the globe ... There are people who have raised money for certain costs, done food drives and coat drives, and are helping a family that has had a tragic illness. There have been some touching and heartwarming nominations that let you see the great side of Dublin and all the great things students and teachers have done in the Dublin community."
To make a nominee stand out among hundreds, Jakse offered a few words of advice.
"Quality of the nomination is important," she said. "The people reviewing the nominations are only aware of what people write in the nomination so quality of the information makes a huge difference."
The Community Champions Awards will be handed out at an awards ceremony slated for April 20 at Jerome High School, 8300 Hyland-Croy Road.
Each Community Champion will receive a medal and a gift bag with items from area businesses. Three seniors from each high school will also be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship.
A staff member will be chosen to get a $500 donation made to the school project of their choice, as well.
Nominations for the Community Champion Awards will be accepted through Feb. 22 and can be found online at dublin chamber.org.