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Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism

Volunteers make the hearts of Maine communities beat! 

Since 1987, the Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism have celebrated and recognized the role of citizen volunteers in the success and vitality of Maine communities.  At the same time, the awards seek to inspire others to be active in civic life and follow in the footsteps of those recognized.

Know a service hero? Submit a Governor's Award for Service and Volunteerism nomination by 6/30/2020

  • Nominate an individual, business, organization, or school that exemplifies service to the community. 
  • Awards cover public, community, and national service.
  • Winners will be selected in early summer and the awards will be presented at the Maine Volunteer Leadership Conference in October.
  • Nominations are open and will be accepted through June 30, 2020. 


Individual and Team Awards

These 8 awards may be presented in October. They are opportunities to recognize individuals and teams whose volunteer efforts are remarkable.


Nominations close June 30, 2020.


Maine Volunteer of the Year

Recognizes an individual who has committed significant time and effort to improving the life of individuals or the community through volunteer service. This person steps up and pitches in whenever help is needed. 


Young Maine Volunteer of the Year

Recognizes a person under the age of 20 who, through volunteer service, has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the life of individuals or the community and, by example, shows the meaning of "active citizenship."


Employee Volunteer of the Year 

This award recognizes an an individual nominated by their employer,who has volunteered through the company's volunteer program and whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact in the community.


Outstanding Public Sector Volunteer

Recognizes an individual volunteering under the auspices of a public agency (state, county, regional, municipal, or federal*). The recipient will demonstrate effectiveness, commitment and significant contributions to meeting a local or statewide need.


*Federal agency must be one other than the Corporation for National and Community Service.


Outstanding National Service Volunteer 

Recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service over and above the requirements of their routine service assignments as a Maine Senior Corps or AmeriCorps participant.


Outstanding Volunteer Team

This award recognizes a team (family, employee, friends) of volunteers who have committed significant time and effort to improving the life of individuals or the community through volunteer service.


Excellence in Volunteer Leadership

Recognizes an outstanding individual whose volunteer program leadership embodies the essential competencies of an effective volunteer leader: advocacy for including volunteers in the work; sound planning for engaging volunteers; effective volunteer recruitment, onboarding, training, assessment, and support; strong documentation and reporting of volunteer accomplishments; evaluation of the impact volunteer services have; and regular acknowledgement and celebration of volunteer contributions. The person may be in a paid or pro bono role.


Excellence in Youth Service Development

Recognizes an individual who is exceptionally adept at supporting youth-driven service that fosters in Maine students the skills and abilities essential to being an civically engaged citizen. Youth-driven or youth-led service means school-aged youth identify the community need they will tackle, devise a plan for addressing the need, and implement the plan with mentoring or coaching from adults.


There are four awards that recognize the role community institutions -- public, for profit, and nonprofit -- have in a thriving volunteer sector.   


Nominations close June 30, 2020.


Awards for Organizations


There are four awards that recognize the role community institutions -- public, for profit, and nonprofit -- have in a thriving volunteer sector.   


Outstanding Employee Volunteer Program 

Recognizes an employer that maintains a formal workplace volunteer program and a corporate culture that inspires and equips employees to volunteer and make an impact in their communities. Charitable donations and fundraising are not considered volunteer activity for the purpose of this award.


Outstanding Non-Profit Volunteer Program

Recognizes a non-profit organization (501(c)3), municipality, or government program that has made significant changes and improvements in the condition of the community as a result of volunteer service.  Also recognizes excellence in service-learning implementation by a nonschool-based youth program.                                                                                 


Service Enterprise of the Year

Recognizes a Maine public or non-profit organization that transformed its culture and operation into a certified Service Enterprise and now strategically engages volunteers in leadership and other skilled volunteer roles so there is greater organizational efficiency and expanded ability to achieve the mission.


School District Excellence in Service-learning 

 Recognizes excellence in K-12 servcie-learning implementation by a school or school district service-learning that demonstrates service-learning standards for quality practice in a majority of classrooms in a school or schools in a district. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community servcie with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.


Guidelines and Eligibility

Please read these carefully because they are the basis for accepting or rejecting nominations in the individual categories. 

  • Nominees may be self-nominated.
  • Nominators are expected to notify the person or organization they wish to nominate before submitting a name for consideration.
  • Incomplete nominations (questions not answered, data fields skipped, text of recommendation letter missing, etc.) will not be considered.
  • An individual, group or business may only be nominated for one category with the exception of Maine's Roll of Honor. For example, an individual nominated for Volunteer of the Year may also be nominated for Roll of Honor if he/she donated 500 hrs of service to a specific organization or program in the past year.
  • If a nominee is selected, the award ceremony organizers will need to communicate with the award recipient and you by email. Please be sure to include accurate emails in the nominations submitted. 
  • Nominees for all organization and individual categories must have active volunteer service during the most recent three years.
  • Nominees for Youth Volunteer of the Year must be age 20 or younger.
  • Individuals or teams that volunteer as part of a workplace volunteer program, internship or for course credit are eligible.
  • Individuals nominated under the National Service category (Foster Grandparents, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, Senior Companions, etc.)must have performed service "above and beyond" his/her normal duties.
  • Any recipient of an individual or organization award during the past three years is not eligible for consideration. 
  • You can nominate more than one individual and/or organization; however each nomination must be submitted on a separate form.
  • Information contained in your nomination form will be used for event publications and released to the media and elected officials. Please be sure the nominee is aware of this.
  • Board members, staff and the family members of the Maine Commission for Community Service or sponsors of the event are not eligible to receive any individual awards or take part in the nomination process.
  • Outstanding Non-Profit Volunteer Program Nominees must supply a copy of 501(c)3 certificate.

Nomination Instructions

All nominations for individuals, teams, and organizations must be complete and received through the online form by close of business on June 30, 2020.

Nomination Process

Nominations are submitted through an online form.  Support letters are submitted by entering the text of the letter and the contact information for the author. Nominators should then retain the original letter until the completion of the selection process.


To help with preparation of a nomination, a sample of each form is provided below as a download. Nominators can use the instructions to gather information and write responses to the questions. You are strongly encouraged to prepare everything in a document so you can cut/paste text into the online form. It is not possible to save your work and return at a later time. Likewise, if you compose directly into the online form, your internet connection may time out without you realizing and your great work could be lost.

Nominations for  Organizations

(Employee Volunteer Programs, Nonprofit Volunteer Programs, Service Enterprise, and School Districts)

Nominations for Individuals or Teams

  • For preparation of the nomination, download and prepare the nomination using this SAMPLE NOMINATION FORM.

  • To submit nomination, use THIS LINK to open the online form.

Note: If nominations submitted in a particular category do not meet award criteria, no presentation is made for that year.

Previous award winners


Group photo of the recipients of the 2019 Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism: (top row, left to right) Heather Arvidson (Volunteer & Client Services Manager, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program), Mark Wisecup (Volunteer of the Year), Lehann Collins (Admin. Assistant Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Kathleen Jenkins (Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Kevin Foster (Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor (bottom row, left to right) Meredith Eaton (Program Manager, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Nancy Gordon (Medication One-on-One Team), Warren Giering (Medication One-on-One Team), Jan Cerabona (Excellence in Volunteer Leadership winner)

»  Outstanding Nonprofit Volunteer Program Award, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor (Bangor)
»  Outstanding Volunteer Team, Medication One-on-One Team (Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging (SMAA), of Scarborough)
»  Service Enterprise of the Year, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (Brunswick)
»  Volunteer of the Year, Mark Wisecup (Windham)
»  Excellence in Volunteer Leadership, Jan Cerabona (Elliot)



»  Outstanding Non-profit Volunteer Program Award, Freeport Community Services (Freeport)
»  Outstanding National Service Volunteer, Alex Schin (Ellsworth)
»  Volunteer of the Year, Howard Bliss (Brunswick)
»  Youth Volunteer of the Year, Ruthie Gusler (Phillips)



»  Outstanding Non-profit Volunteer Program Award, Grace Interfaith Food Table (Preque Isle)
»  Outstanding National Service Volunteer, Megan McCue (York)
»  Volunteer of the Year, Julie Abbott (Gorham) 
»  Youth Volunteer of the Year, Olivia Spelman (Falmouth)




»  Outstanding Non-profit Volunteer Program Award, Partners for World Health
»  Outstanding National Service Volunteer, Natalie Landry (Portland)
»  Volunteer of the Year, Barbara Belanger (Rumford) 
»  Outstanding Public Sector Volunteer, CarltonBeckett (Mechanic Falls) 
»  Youth Volunteer of the Year, Jada Lin (Pittston)



»  Outstanding Non-profit Volunteer Program Award, New Vineyard Public Library  
»  Outstanding National Service Volunteer, Silviano Senecca (Windham)  
»  Volunteer of the Year, Gail Hart (Harpswell)  
»  Outstanding Public Sector Volunteer, Kenneth Dow (Corrina)  
»  Youth Volunteer of the Year, Brianna Cynthia Jack (Baileyville)