The Spirit of Youth Teen Advisory Council has created 8 categories for nominations and recognition. Council members use these definitions and the following criteria to evaluate each nomination:

  • Nomination describes a youth-initiated or youth-led project.
  • Nomination highlights individuals or groups who are organizing and leading unique activities or projects that typically don’t get noticed.
  • Nomination describes youth who help others and improve the quality of life in the community

Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award recognizes youth who have put forth efforts to make their community a better place or are active in local or state government. Previous nominees have managed political campaigns, served on school boards and youth courts, built and hosted campaign websites, or have organized fundraisers, designed play grounds, repaired houses, helped elders and others in need.

Innovator Award

The Innovator Award shines the spotlight on the efforts of youth who have shown excellence in the fields of math and science through research, study, or improvement in their community. Previous nominees include youth who studied humpback whale DNA, created a community planet walk, participated in robotics programs, and conducted earthquake research.

Life-Saver Award

The Live-Saver Award celebrates youth who have gone above and beyond “the call of duty” by preventing injuries and illness and saving lives. Previous nominees have shown courage by pulling hypothermic tourists out of a raging river, taught life-saving skills, conducted seat belt programs and served as volunteer firefighters or first responders.

Phoenix Award

Celebrates youth who display exceptional determination and perseverance as they overcome significant life challenges. Previous nominees have raised funds to help others with an illness, have succeeded despite disability, or helped their families or community address difficult circumstances.

Visionary Award

The Visionary Award recognizes youth who have turned their creativity and knowledge into an economic venture. Previous nominees have built and hosted websites and have even started their own movie theatres, coffee shops and delivery services.

Dreamer Award

The Dreamer Award recognizes teens who are actively engaging in their community through the preservation of cultural practices and arts, those who share personal expression through visual or performing arts, and those who cultivate youth voice through media and digital art forms. Previous nominees include students who have worked on radio programs and local newspapers, organized musical ensembles, and taught native arts and dance.

Role-Model Award

Teens nominated for the Role-Model Award lend a helping hand to peers and younger youth in their community. These teens can be outstanding leaders, peer counselors, or a positive assistant in the classroom.  Previous nominees have included tutors, mentors, or instructors in a variety of fields. These teens build assets in themselves and their friends.

Discovery Award

The Discovery Award highlights accomplishments made by youth in environmental advocacy projects and technology ventures. Previous nominees include youth who mapped the Kenai floodplain and worked to restore the Kenai River banks, as well as those who created relevant websites and taught computer skills in their communities.