Last week, we were excited to help President Obama launch the Citizens Medal public nominations process. By asking the public to submit nominees, President Obama hopes to recognize exemplary citizens and local heroes who have significantly impacted their communities but who may not have garnered national attention.
We are thrilled to have received over 5,000 nominations so far, with more rolling in every hour. The deadline is 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, January 28, so please don’t delay in getting your nomination in!
The President is focused this year on seeking out ordinary citizens who have gone above and beyond, performing extraordinary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs, including in particular: those who have a demonstrated commitment to service in their own community or in communities farther from home, those who have helped their country or their fellow citizens through one or more extraordinary acts, and those whose service relates to a long-term or persistent problem.
In past Administrations, some truly amazing individuals have been honored with this award.
For example, in 2008, President George W. Bush presented the Citizens Medal to Dr. Mitch Besser, whose made great advances on behalf of women living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. He developed innovative strategies to reduce mother-to-child transmission of the disease.
In 2001, Sister Carol Coston and Marion Wiesel were among the honorees chosen by President Bill Clinton. Both women were tireless advocates against oppression and intolerance, working towards peace and basic human rights for all. Sister Carol worked to lift up low-income communities here in the United States through economic development, while Marion Wiesel’s work touched people across the globe – from writing a documentary about the children of the Holocaust to helping Ethiopian youth transition to living and thriving in Israel.
We’re heartened by the wonderful stories you’ve all sent in, and look forward to reading more as they come in over the next day! Thank you so much for your participation.
Tina Tchen is the Director of the Office of Public Engagement