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Celebrating Outstanding Ongoing Achievements

Every field seems to have its own version of the Oscars. Some of the best known are the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater and the Grammy Awards for music and recording. All three recognize the best performers in the fields and were modeled after the Oscars, which were first presented in 1929. Sports, literature, technology, automotive, painting, photography, hospitality, leadership and more all have awards and winners, national and local competitions. I can’t think of many fields that don’t offer some sort of recognition.

There is something about awards that appeals to everyone. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s 1997 acceptance speech for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor is one of my favorite examples of why I like awards: it made me (and most people in the room and watching on TV) smile, laugh, tear a little bit, tingle with excitement, clap and get totally caught up in his enthusiasm and joy. He kept going well after the house band started to play him off and when he did leave the stage, the whole room was standing. He raised the bar for future acceptance speeches.

When PbS was selected as a winner of the 2004 Innovations in American Government Award, the press release from the Ash Institute of Democratic Governance and Innovation called it “the Oscars” for government agencies and programs. The award was started in 1985 to recognize exemplary models of government innovation and advances to address the nation’s most pressing public concerns. At the ceremony, none of the winners jumped around the stage with excitement like Cuba Gooding Jr. did, but the whole room was charged with enthusiasm and joy. I couldn’t help from getting swept up in it all. I was as happy and proud of PbS as I was inspired by everyone in the room. The feeling spread to all PbS participants. There were press releases, celebrations and local recognitions as well as a renewed energy to keep up the good work.

These are just some of the reasons PbS offers five different types of annual awards.

The application period has just closed on two 2017 PbS awards: the Barbara Allen-Hagen Award for facilities best exemplifying PbS’ commitment to treating all youths as one of our own and the Kids Got Talent Contest recognizing the talents of youths in PbS facilities and programs. I’m pleased but not surprised to see the number of submissions for both competitions are far greater than last year and came from 23 states (two-thirds of PbS’ states), many of whom applied for both. This year’s Kids Got Talent Contest is the most competitive yet – 91 videos of singing, dancing, spoken word, instrumentals and more.

The winners will be celebrated in style in October. As in past years, there will be smiles, laughter, some tears and lots of clapping and cheering. I look forward to being caught up in all that enthusiasm and joy.

Watch the video of the 2016 PbS Awards Night.

This article was originally published on the CJCA blog.

Friday, April 07, 2017 at 4:39 PM