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2012 Citizens Medal: Open for Nominations

The President invites the American public to nominate everyday heroes for one of our nation's highest civilian honors -- the Presidential Citizens Medal.

For more 40 years, the Presidential Citizens Medal has recognized Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens." Starting today, the President is inviting you, the American public, to nominate everyday heroes for one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.

As 2011 Citizens Medal recipient Roberto Perez said, “The best thing we can leave with this world is that we made a difference in the life of somebody.”

Who is your hero? Who has gone above and beyond, performing extraordinary deeds of service? Help us recognize the exemplary citizen from your community -- and bring them the public attention they deserve by nominating them for this year’s medal.

citizens medal ceremony

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Here are a few inspiring examples of heroes honored last year:

  • Ida Martin created Bluffton Self Help to assist working families, disabled residents, and senior citizens in the Bluffton, South Carolina area when they suffered a financial crisis. She provided families with short-term emergency financial assistance for housing and utility assistance, medical assistance, or children's program assistance. Martin received the Citizens Medal for providing relief to many in moments of despair.
  • John Keaveney, a Vietnam combat veteran, founded New Directions, a home for homeless and disabled veterans with addiction and mental health problems. Keaveney overcame personal struggles and turned his life around in the 1980s. He decided that no veteran who asked for help should suffer as he did. Keaveney received the Citizens Medal for ensuring that America keeps its promises to veterans.
  • Margaret Martin founded the Harmony Project in 2001 to make quality arts education available to those in the most underserved, gang-reduction zones of Los Angeles. This organization has provided instruments and tuition-free music lessons to thousands of children in Los Angeles who would otherwise have no access to classical music. Martin received the Citizens Medal for replacing violence in children's lives with music.

If you know someone like Ida, John or Margaret, please take a moment to nominate him or her for the 2012 Citizens medal before April 24, 2012.

Nominees must be citizens of the United States, as required by the 1969 Executive Order. If you want to nominate someone for the 2012 Citizens Medal, please review the full criteria for this year's Medal. The deadline to submit is Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST.