President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) 2020

by James Chiao, FCSN co-chair & volunteer support adviser

What is “President’s Volunteer Service Award” (PVSA) and how did it come about? According to AmeriCorps, which manages PVSA in partnership with Points of Light: “In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.”

FCSN has been a certifying organization of President’s Volunteer Service Award since 2014. Every year, through PVSA, FCSN recognizes many of our outstanding volunteer who have made a difference in our community. Last year, 2020, was an exceptional year, the contribution of our volunteers was simply extraordinary. Due to the pandemic, many of our in-person support programs were converted to virtual programs or online learning classes, such as family support, outreach meetings, arts & crafts, drawing, storytime, dance, science, computer and others; in addition, many new programs were created such as Toastmasters Club, FCSN Clubs, FCSN Voices, and SNTutoring program. As a result of these wonderful programs and the outstanding efforts of hundreds of volunteers, the quality of life for many special needs children and adults, sheltered in place, were vastly improved. In addition, due to the nature of the virtual and online programs, many new families outside of the Bay Area were able to participate for the first time.

For the year 2020, thirty of our youth volunteers applied and qualified for the PVSA. For each age group, different volunteer service hours are required to earn the awards, as shown in the table below. Each gold recipient will receive a gold certificate and a medallion. Each silver recipient will receive a silver certificate and a pin. Each bronze recipient will receive a bronze certificate. In previous years, the award package also includes a personalized certificate of achievement and letter signed by President. However, this year, the customary presidential letter won’t be included until such time President Biden is able to craft a personal message to our amazing volunteers.

Age GroupBronzeSilverGold
Teens (11–15)50–74 hours75–99 hours100+ hours
Young Adults (16–25)100–174 hours175–249 hours250+ hours
Adults (26+)100–249 hours250–499 hours500+ hours

For year 2020, we have the following 12 young adult winners:

Full nameAward
Isabella HePVSA Gold
Katherine HePVSA Gold
Jenny ChinPVSA Silver
Eric ZhuPVSA Silver
Edbert WangPVSA Silver
Joy KuoPVSA Bronze
Chengqi LiPVSA Bronze
Rachel HuynhPVSA Bronze
Luna ChenPVSA Bronze
Ethan YuanPVSA Bronze
Meg ChangPVSA Bronze
William ChenPVSA Bronze

For teens, we have the following 18 winners:

Full nameAward
Hillary ChangPVSA Gold
Neeral BhalgatPVSA Gold
Christina ChangPVSA Gold
James WangPVSA Gold
Sterling XiePVSA Gold
Jackie WangPVSA Gold
Navish SinhaPVSA Gold
Canis LiPVSA Gold
Himani MishraPVSA Gold
Isabella YangPVSA Gold
Candace Tsay PVSA Silver
Claire LinPVSA Bronze
Kyra DengPVSA Bronze
Jason ChuPVSA Bronze
Kenneth ShuiPVSA Bronze
Jennie WangPVSA Bronze
Shayla HePVSA Bronze
Daniel WangPVSA Bronze

I would like to thank Erica Chiu, a UC Davis student volunteer, who has taken over the PVSA coordinator position from me this year to handle all the PVSA applications. Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our PVSA recipients, and all our volunteers, who have truly made a difference in the lives of many children and adults with special needs, and the lives of their families too. Thank you.

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