SOURCE: Jefferson Awards Foundation

Jefferson Awards Foundation

January 09, 2017 06:00 ET

Jefferson Awards Foundation announces Annual LEAD360 Big Ideas Contest

Winning idea to be scaled nationally in 2017

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - January 09, 2017) - The Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF), the nation's most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to powering public service, announces a call for entries for its 2017 LEAD360 big ideas contest aimed at creating maximum impact through simple, fun and scalable service ideas.

LEAD360, a program of JAF, makes service easy to do, fun and accessible by seeking outstanding youth ideas and replicating the best nationwide. Young people aged 5-25 have the opportunity to submit their service project or idea for social change. The five finalists will be put to a national vote online; the winner receives a Jefferson Award and their idea is then activated nationwide with JAF's support. To date, LEAD360 has considered over 6,000 youth projects, engaged more than 1 million young people and impacted over 9 million lives.

"LEAD360 provides an avenue for any young person to share their ideas for how to change things that matter most to them," said Hillary Schafer, Executive Director of the Jefferson Awards Foundation. "Their ideas are often unique, exciting, replicable and scalable. Through LEAD360 we've seen service transform individuals and communities while creating a national movement that is tackling real-world issues like hunger, poverty, education and literacy."

The LEAD360 ideas contest will accept submissions online through January 31, 2017 at Ideas submitted after January 2017 will be considered for 2018. There are 10 actionable areas of care for young people to submit their projects or ideas, each of which align with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Animal Care & Wildlife Preservation
  • Civic Engagement & Community Building
  • Education & Literacy
  • Elder Care
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Health & Wellness
  • Hunger & Poverty
  • Infrastructure & Innovation
  • Peace & Justice
  • Veteran Care

The national public can vote online for the five finalists from February 6 through February 14 at

The 2017 LEAD360 winner will be announced in March at the Jefferson Awards Foundation's National Ceremony in New York City. Throughout the year, the winner be equipped with the resources, network and leadership tools necessary to scale their idea and activate it nationally.

To learn more about LEAD360 or to submit an idea visit:

About the Jefferson Awards Foundation

The Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF) powers others to have maximum impact on the things they care about most. Through celebration, they inspire action. With programs and partnerships, they drive Americans to change their communities and the world. They are celebrating 45 years of powering public service. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, visit: or engage with their community on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook.

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