Service Year Alums Awards

Service Year Alliance is thrilled to announce the inaugural Service Year Alums Awards! These awards are designed to recognize and celebrate service year alums who have gone above and beyond in bridging divides across lines of difference and fostering positive change during their service years and beyond. This is an opportunity to showcase your contributions through service, highlight the positive impacts you've made, and inspire future generations of service year members.

Bridging Divides: coming together across divides to listen and understand each other, to find common ground, build relationships, and to make collaboration the norm.

Awardees will receive $1,000 each, as well as recognition at a virtual awards ceremony, through social media, inclusion on the Service Year Alliance website, and other public outlets. 

To be considered for an award, a service year alum must submit a written or video narrative of a personal experience about bridging divides and their service year. 


Reflect on skills you learned, and experiences you had in your service year, that enabled you to come together across divides - with individuals who hold different beliefs, come from different backgrounds, are different ages, and more. Consider how your service year helped you find common ground, build relationships, and collaborate. In your application, share an experience from your service year or after, demonstrating bridging with a fellow corps member, community member(s), or other person(s). If the experience occurred after your service year, you should explain how your service prepared you to engage across lines of difference.

The awards are open to anyone who has completed a service year*. There are no age restrictions or geographical limitations. Entries will be reviewed by Service Year Alliance staff, service year alums, and/or other service year champions utilizing specific criteria**. Submissions are due May 31, 2024; finalists will be notified in August and awards will be presented in September 2024. 

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps, the first 30 eligible submissions will receive a $30 gift card. 

Submission Instructions

All submissions should demonstrate the connection between a service year experience and bridging divides. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Successfully bringing together diverse communities to work towards a common goal, fostering a sense of unity and belonging.
  • Promoting dialogue, cooperation, and mutual respect among people of different religious backgrounds, fostering interfaith understanding and harmony.
  • Facilitating cultural exchange and interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds, promoting appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism.
  • Engaging in meaningful interactions between different generations, bridging divides and promoting mutual respect and appreciation.
  • Working to resolve conflicts peacefully, build bridges between divided communities, and promote reconciliation and understanding.
  • Utilizing the arts and/or technology to bridge divides across lines of difference, such as through music, theater, film, visual arts, social media, virtual reality, or data analysis.

Please ensure you share your narrative with an ethical lens - in a fair, respectful, and accurate manner. Alums should consider authenticity, respect for diversity, cultural humility, and truthfulness. To learn more about ethical storytelling, check out Peace Corps’ Approach to Ethical Storytelling Toolkit.

  • Entries should be in the form of a short story, no longer than 2,000 words. Alternatively, you may submit a video up to five minutes in length.
  • Optional: Up to three photos may be submitted with the story. This may include a photo of you during your service year, alone or with corps members, staff, and/or community members if the individuals have provided consent for their photo to be used.
  • Entries should be submitted using the Service Year Alums Awards application form. If you are unable to access the application form, please contact [email protected] to coordinate an alternative submission. Applications must be submitted no later than May 31, 2024.
  • By submitting an entry, you acknowledge that your story, or portions thereof, may be published on the Service Year Alliance website, included in promotional materials, media outlets, and/or reports to demonstrate the impact of service years.

Embrace the opportunity to reflect on your service journey, share your experiences of bridging divides across lines of difference, and celebrate your commitment to service. Apply by Friday, May 31 for the Service Year Alums Awards!

*In general, a service year is defined as a paid opportunity to develop real-world workplace skills and civic engagement through hands-on service. Service years address unmet community needs through direct service or indirect “capacity building” for at least 32 hours per week over the course of 9-24 months total. All AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and YouthBuild positions are considered service years. If you have questions about whether your program qualifies, view Service Year Alliance’s Certification Criteria for service year programs, or email [email protected]


  • Theme: Does the story focus on the concept of bridging divides through service?
  • Impact: How well does the author demonstrate how the service year experience made a positive impact on the corps member? 
  • Impact: How well does the story showcase their ability to bridge divides across lines of difference?
  • Message: Is the narrative shared with an ethical lens?

Have questions about the Service Year Alums Awards? Whether you're curious about eligibility, the submission process, or what kinds of narratives we're looking for, we’ve got you covered! Head over to our FAQs page to find all the answers you need to ensure your application shines here
Service Year Alums Awards
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