Throughout the second half of the 18th century, George Washington’s actions reverberated around the world and continue to do so today. He played a pivotal role not only in the major events that led to our country’s founding, but those that ensured the survival of our young nation. As commander in chief, president at the Constitutional Convention, citizen farmer, and the first President of the United States Washington’s choices provide examples of leadership civic responsibility, patriotism, and historic complexity over time and remain relevant in national and global dialogues today.
Not one for making powerful speeches, George Washington often chose to lead through his actions. Dedicating over 40 years of his life to his country, Washington illustrated his belief in putting public service to a greater community above personal gain. The Mount Vernon Prize for Excellence in Civics and History in Honor of Dr. Jennifer London will be awarded to two projects each year led by outstanding middle and high school students who applied their understanding of Washington’s life to extend his legacy of public service within their classrooms, schools, or communities.
Teachers and organization leaders will nominate eligible students who have transformed the world around them based on their knowledge of George Washington and his civic contributions. Students will have demonstrated taking positive, purposeful, informed action that extended Washington’s story and legacy beyond their own studies. These accomplishments will take many forms, from sharing disciplinary knowledge within the classroom to addressing issues within the local community, and will utilize many formats, from written work to digital projects, artistic creations, and community programming.