National Awards Programs

On November 21, 1949 General Dwight D. Eisenhower presented 200 recipients with the first Freedoms Foundation National Awards. The ceremony took place in a barn on a colonial farm once occupied by Washington’s troops, which is now the site of the national headquarters of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Today, nearly 56,000 awards have been presented to Americans from all walks of life – the famous and the unknown, the young and old – from Maine to Hawaii. Large corporations and small businesspersons, farmers, students, teachers and military personnel have all been presented National Awards for their efforts to make America a better place. This program was intended as a way to say thank you to those whose projects, words or deeds reflect the best of the American spirit of voluntarism by offering constructive solutions to contemporary problems. We search for those doing good work in their communities, bringing about the best in the spirit of America.

National Awards Program Categories

Community – Adult and Youth

For programs by groups or individual who “go above and beyond the call of duty” on a local, regional or national level which promote good works and serve their communities on an ongoing, day-to-day basis. These programs or projects should have been conducted for at least one year or longer, and be a series of works.

Public Communications

For the most significant dynamic addresses, sermons, editorials, letters to editor, books, articles, television and radio programs which increase the understanding of our American Way of Life. These communications may be on a one-time work or a series of works.

Special Events

Award given for the most significant events which take place on a day or several days which impact the community, state and/or nation while increasing an understanding of our American Way of Life.

School – Elementary thru College/University

This award recognizes activities by a school or classroom. Focus should be placed on students’ community involvement in action, with emphasis on patriotism and responsible citizenship as based on one of the basic American freedoms set forth in The Bill of Responsibilities. Evidence of student involvement and a complete one-page summary listing project goals and objectives must be attached at front of entry nomination. Please list school level on entry form.

Educator – Elementary thru College/University

This award honors teachers and administrators who go above and beyond the call of duty for their students and America’s youth. These educators also instill in their students a sense of the importance of community involvement, responsible citizenship and patriotism. Entries should include a one-page summary on the teacher/administrator’s accomplishments and qualifications.

Military Essay – Adult and Youth

Open to personnel of the Armed Forces on active or reserve duty, members of the National Guard, ROTC and JROTC. Typed, doubled spaced and corrected essays should be 500 to 1,000 words in lenght. Essays must also address the given topic. One entry per person.

Youth Essay

Sponsored by the Women’s Overseas Service League, San Antonio Chapter, and open to youth ages K-Grade 12. Entries must be typed, double-spaced an corrected containing 500 to 1,000 words. Essay must also address the given topic. One entry per person. Entries can be from a classroom project.


Recipients receive the George Washington Honor Medal.

The Leavy Award

Honoring Excellence in Private Enterprise Education

Since 1977, the Freedoms Foundation and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation have honored outstanding teachers for bringing passion and creativity to their classrooms as they teach students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. The awards program recognizes educators at the elementary, junior high school, high school, and college levels for innovative and effective techniques in teaching entrepreneurship and the free enterprise education. Up to twenty cash awards are made annually valued at $7,500 each. One meritorious award of $15,000 may be made for an outstanding entry. To date, the program has recognized over 600 teachers from across the country and awarded over $3.8 million.

Local Hero Award

To establish an award that provides an opportunity to honor local community people who have done something heroic and have received little to no recognition; basically an unsung hero.This program is to be combined with your George Washington Honor Medal presentations at the Annual Freedoms Foundation Awards Ceremony in February.

Contact us for more information about nomination, submission process and awards.

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