In support of our Belief that every individual has a social responsibility to make the world a better place, Payscout serves as a Champion with the Jefferson Award Foundation (JAF), the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to inspiring and celebrating public service.
Each Champion organization is given the opportunity to select one employee as its outstanding employee volunteer of the year.
This year, Erica Boatman-Dixon was selected for her volunteer efforts, which include organizing activities for Students in Action at Van Nuys Middle School and working on Lead 360 activations and overall support of the Greater Los Angeles JAF team. As a reward for being selected as the employee volunteer of the year, Erica had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC, to attend the annual JAF National Ceremony, the gathering of national leaders, grassroots heroes, and Students in Action Teams to celebrate the best of public service in America. The National Ceremony activities took place from June 27 through June 29 and provided an opportunity to connect with other JAF Champion award recipients, community and celebrity award recipients, Students In Action teams and media partner award recipients.
Recipients were given the opportunity to take a tour of many of the historical monuments in the National Mall on Wednesday evening to get to know one another. On Thursday morning a Welcome Breakfast was held giving each award recipient the opportunity to address attendees and share their story. “There were numerous stories of triumph over tragedy and how loss compelled people to give back to the community,” said Erica. “We need a Welcome Breakfast like this every day,” she added.
During the afternoon recipients had a chance to visit their Senator or Representative. The California contingent visiting the offices of Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein included: the Greater Los Angeles SIA competition winning student team from Sage Oak and the students from the Convent & Stuart Hall Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, JAF Greater Los Angeles Executive Director Myla Rahman, San Francisco Program Manager Kim Bonney, and two award recipients from San Francisco, recognized for their efforts for assisting homeless women sleeping in their vehicles in Monterey and providing gifts for less fortunate children during the holiday season. Though Ms. Harris and Ms. Feinstein were unable to attend the meetings, the opportunity to share information about community outreach efforts with representatives from each Senator’s office was exciting for all involved.
The day culminated with the evening Gala, a ceremony honoring the best of the best. This year’s honorees were: Abbie Nelson & Pia Phillips (recognized for outstanding public service by individuals 25 years or younger – for their creation of PAB’s Packs – custom designed backpacks filled with comfort items to teenagers with a chronic diagnosis or repeat hospital visits); Elaine Wynn (recognized for outstanding public service by a private citizen); Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Chris Long (recognized for outstanding public service in professional sports – Chris donated his entire 2017 base salary, worth $1 million, to benefit educational charities). In addition, five individuals were presented with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for their contributions,
Each Students In Action team that earned the trip to Washington, DC was also eligible for national recognition for their overall achievements. Though this was their first time participating in Students In Action, Sage Oak earned a bronze level banner for their efforts. An outstanding achievement for the small, but talented group of middle school students of whom we are extremely proud. Way to go, Sage Oak! Jefferson Awards Foundation CEO Hillary Schaefer closed the National Awards with the following, “ … everyone around you is a powerful reminder of the best spirit of America. Each of us in this room knows that people can realize their true power through service to others. It is incumbent on all of us to multiply service and multiply the good that it does. We are proud of being at the center of that for 46 years.”
For more information on the Jefferson Awards Foundation and how you can get involved, visit jeffersonawards.org.
Congratulations to Erica, the students from Sage Oak, and all award recipients. Payscout will continue to #CelebrateGood with the Jefferson Awards Foundation and other organizations that make the world a better place. Follow our blog for more Payscout Gives employee engagement and activities.