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December 11, 2001

Governor Ryan Accepting Nominations for Young American Medals Program
Honors Youth for Outstanding Bravery and Service

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is accepting nominations for the Young American Medals Program, which recognizes the outstanding contributions of young men and women 18 years old or younger.

As part of Illinois’ participation in the September 11 remembrance event, Governor Ryan is encouraging Illinoisans to participate in the Young American Medals Program.

“When we recognize young people who have demonstrated exceptional courage or an extraordinary commitment to service, we are strengthening our resolve as a nation to promote the qualities and values that make our nation great,” Governor Ryan said.

The Young American Medals Program was established by an Act of Congress in 1950, with the first medals for bravery or service awarded in 1951. The Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service will accept nominations until January 31, 2002. The Commission will submit a list of finalists to Governor Ryan for his review and he will send his nominations to the U.S. Department of Justice in mid-February.

There are two categories of the award: bravery and service. The Young American Medal for Bravery recognizes individuals who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decision making, presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of their own personal safety, in an effort to save a person whose life was in actual imminent danger. The Young American Medal for Service recognizes individuals who have achieved outstanding or unusual recognition for character and service.

The Governors of States and Territories and the Mayor of the District of Columbia may nominate up to two candidates for each award category for each of the past three years.

Winners are selected by the Young American Medals Committee, headed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Medals will be presented personally by the President of the United States at a ceremony honoring the medal winners and their families.

Individuals or groups who are interested in nominating an individual can submit materials via mail. Nominations must be submitted before January 31, 2002.

Mail nominations to:
Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service
Attn: Young American Medals Program
623 East Adams, Floor 1
Springfield, IL 62794

Visit the Young American Medals web site for additional information and nomination forms. Further information about this program is available by calling the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which administers the Young American Medals Program, at 202-307-5980, or by writing to the Young American Medals Committee, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20531.

The Illinois Commission on Volunteerism strives to improve communities in Illinois by supporting and enhancing volunteerism and community service. Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, represent leaders in labor, education, older adults, public health, non-profits, business, volunteerism, and national service.


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