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Char-Em United Way

Michigan Student Service Awards

Michigan Student Service Awards Program


About the Program: 

Volunteering is a great way to get involved and help those in need, but did you know that as a high school student, you can receive community-wide recognition for volunteering in your area?

The Michigan Student Service Awards are a way of recognizing high school graduates who volunteer a significant number of hours to benefit their community through service and volunteerism during the course of their high school careers.

Similar to other awards bestowed on graduating seniors of talent, commitment and perseverance in academics and athletics, the Student Service Award honors those special students who participate in activities outside of school that make their community a better place to live. A medallion and a certificate signed by the Governor rewards their commitment to helping other people and organizations in a significant way!

How does this program work? 

As soon as a student graduates middle school, they can begin volunteering their time towards the MSSA program. (Volunteer hours for the summer before their freshman year of high school DO count)

Any student who has tracked and completed 400 or more hours of volunteer service during the course of their high school career is eligible for this award. Volunteer activities must be undertaken through nonprofit organizations, government programs, community groups, or schools. Students must obtain signatures on a volunteer activity sheet from a staff member who supervised their activities. Seniors who have reached the 400 hour goal will be required to complete a reflective essay in order to qualify for the award.

Tracking hours has never been easier! Simply log onto Volunteer Connections and set up a profile. You'll be able to find volunteer opportunities as well as track your hours.

What types of activities qualify? 

(Any activities that are directly linked to providing needed services or bettering the community in which you live.)

  • Does the activity take place outside of the designated class period? 
  • Is there no personal or group membership gain from this activity? 
  • Does this activity provide a service to a group or and individual in need of assistance? 
  • Is the service given out of your own free will and not the result of a punishment? 
  • Is the service provided to an individual or community organization that has no relation to you or your family? 

Examples that DO qualify: 

  • Liter pickup on highways, parks, rivers, etc.
  • Tutoring or mentoring
  • Befriending a nursing home resident (Ex. Spending time with, reading to, etc.)
  • Nonprofit office and administration work
  • Fundraising
  • Salvation army bell ringing
  • Food bank collection
  • Advocacy for a local nonprofit
  • Bible school
  • Mission trips outside country


Examples that DO NOT qualify: 

  • Athletic participation
  • Community theatre, band or chorus
  • Drama club
  • Dance or sports preformances
  • Fundraising for your groups benefit (Ex. Car wash for your basketball team)
  • Student council
  • Childcare at church
  • Volunteer work done for school credit
  • Campaign work for a political candidate

Getting Started: 

Char-Em United Way acts as the coordinator for the MSSA program activities, such as registration, assisting in finding volunteer opportunities and making an official permanent record of volunteer hours. School guidance counselors may also help with program information.


Contact our MSSA Coordinatior if you are interested in the program:
Brooke Granowicz
AmeriCorps VISTA