Welcome To The 2024 Silver Garland Awards
The Silver Garland is an award for service. Nominees are among the most talented and gifted high school seniors in Polk County, Florida. Of much greater importance is how the nominee has used that talent and skill in service to school and community. Service is what makes a student a Silver Garland nominee.
The Silver Garland program is sponsored as a community service by Visit Central Florida and the Ledger. Polk County high schools are invited to select seniors with records of outstanding service as Silver Garland candidates. The Silver Garlands ceremony will be held in Winter Haven at the AdventHealth Fieldhouse on April 25, 2024.
Please note that we will start accepting applications on October 2, 2023 and the deadline for application is December 1st, 2023. The date for interviews is February 7th, 2024 and will be held at the AdventHealth Fieldhouse in Winter Haven.
Application Process & Expectations
Want to apply to be a Silver Garland Award recipient? Great!
For a successful Silver Garland Award entry, review the steps listed below.
1. Review criteria for nomination to determine which criteria applies to you.
2. Thoroughly read the program instructions, requirements and expectations below.
3. Read over the entry form example. Gather and organize the information you will need to submit.
4. Fill out the entry form. When you are satisfied with your entry form, submit it. You will not be able to edit the entry form after submission.
5. Within 2 business days, you will receive an email that contains a copy of your entry form. Forward that email to your School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator.
6. School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator will work to determine your school’s candidate in each category.
7. School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator fill out & submit a candidate nomination report for each student nominated in each category. The student entry form is not considered complete until the corresponding nomination report from the school has been submitted. The deadline for completed submissions is December 1st, 2023 at 5 p.m. Email to email@example.com
8. Visit Central Florida will use the candidate nomination reports from the schools to compile a list of candidates from each school. That list will be sent to each school to confirm the submission of nominations. Entry forms from students who are not nominated by the schools will be discarded.
9. Judging sessions will be February 7th, 2024, starting at 8 a.m. Nominees will be notified of their interview time, via e-mail, prior to the judging session.
10. Judges will review the entry forms, interview notes and make a decision. In every case, the judges’ decision is final.
11. The Silver Garland Awards Ceremony will be held in person on April 25th, 2024. Names of the winners are kept secret until this night!
Information for Nominees
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY AND IN ITS ENTIRETY
The essential qualification for a Silver Garland nominee is service. Nominees are among the most talented and gifted high school seniors in Polk County. Of much greater importance is how the nominee has used that talent and skill in service to school and community.
Students who attempt to qualify solely through in-class excellence have no advantage in being selected. The Silver Garland Award in each category is given to the student whose record of service to school and/or community best exemplifies the unselfish use of his or her abilities to help others.
The period of performance is not of prime importance. Work through all of the high school grades, or any part thereof may be considered.
The Silver Garland program is sponsored as a community service by Visit Central Florida and The Ledger. Polk County high schools are invited to select seniors with records of outstanding service as Silver Garland candidates.
Business and/or community leaders serve as judges in each category. Judges individually review and hold personal interviews with each candidate to select the Silver Garland recipient in each category. Selection of judges, judging of candidates and presentation of awards is administered by Visit Central Florida.
Selection of candidates to represent each school and administration of the program at school level is handled by Polk County Schools.
Aerospace · Art · Athletics · Citizenship · Communications · Computer Science · Culinary · English/Literature · Foreign Language · Mathematics · Music · Performing Arts · Science · Vocational/Technology
ACHIEVEMENT: Accomplishments, honors and recognition represent evidence of achievement, both in school and community. Important are the direction of purpose (as applied to the student’s category), realization of goals and persistence.
LEADERSHIP: Initiative in constructive programs, poise in facing difficult problems and courage in meeting responsibilities are hallmarks of a good leader. A list of elected positions demonstrates general approval by others, which opens the door to real leadership. How this opportunity is used is the prime factor for consideration.
CHARACTER: Students’ character is measured by personal habits and attitudes, appreciation of our society’s moral and spiritual values and a sense of good judgment as reflected in relationships with others. Character may be revealed by an individual’s ability to overcome physical and environmental challenges.
Guidelines for selection of nominees by categories are outlined in this informational document. These specific guidelines, plus the general measurements of achievement, leadership and character, should form the basis for selection of nominees.
All of these factors are considered by Silver Garland judges. Their choice of winners rests on an appraisal of the student’s use of these factors in service to school and/or community.
Competition is open to any high school senior in Polk County schools, public or private. Each school, regardless of size, may nominate only one candidate in each category. In addition, no student may be entered in more than one category.
The winner in each category will be awarded $1,000.
Applications will open on October 2, 2023. Entries must be received by Visit Central Florida no later than December 1st, 2023 at 5 p.m. Visit Central Florida is not responsible for incomplete entries. If you experience technical difficulties, notify Visit Central Florida as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorities in each category are selected by committee to perform as judges. Each judge will individually review the entry forms prior to judging. At the judging session, each judge will conduct a brief personal interview with each nominee before making their decision. In every case, the judges’ decision is final.
Judging sessions will be held in person on February 7th, 2024 at the AdventHealth Fieldhouse in Winter Haven. Nominees will be notified of their interview time about a week prior to the judging session. Virtual interview is mandatory at the judging session. Candidates unable to attend the judging will be disqualified. Please check for previous commitments before nomination. There are no exceptions.
The Silver Garland Awards presentation will be held on April 25th, 2024. Names of the winners will not be revealed prior to the ceremony.
The winner in each category will be awarded $1,000 and a special trophy. The top two (2) runner-ups will also receive trophies.
Watch the 2023 Silver Garland Awards Ceremony:
For questions about the Silver Garland program, contact Jack Cormier by email at email@example.com or call 863-551-4750.