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Governor's Civic Engagement Award

Governor's Civic Engagement Award

About the Award

The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award is presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education. The award celebrates the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to educate, engage and inform their fellow students about how to get involved in the voting process.

Award Distinctions

85% gold seal 

Gold Level School Award

This award is presented to schools where 85% of eligible students are registered to vote.

Student ambassadors and the school will receive a plaque and certificates from the Secretary of State at a regional recognition event.

65% silver seal 

Silver Level School Award

This award is presented to schools where 65% of eligible students are registered to vote.

Student ambassadors and the school will receive a plaque and certificates from the Secretary of State at a regional recognition event.

Blue individual seal 

Student Poll Worker Award

This award is presented to students who participate in a voter registration at their school and serve as a poll worker during the general election.

Individual award recipients will receive special recognition at a regional recognition event


  • To be eligible to register to vote, students must be US Citizens, resident of the district for at least 30 days and 18 years of age (or 17 years of age and will be 18 on or before the next election).
  • To serve as a poll worker, students must be 17 years of age and obtain permission from their principal and parent/guardian to serve as a poll worker.
  • If you are interested in becoming a student poll worker, fill out the Student Poll Worker interest form.
  • After you submit the form, work with your school and your county elections office to complete the application process. 

How do schools earn a Gold or Silver award?

  1. Sign up with the PA Department of State.
    We are asking all schools to complete the online registration form if you know that you will hold a registration drive at your school. This way, we can send you important updates about the awards program, and election in general.
  2. Run Your Voter Registration Drive
    Plan and execute a voter registration drive at your school. Make a plan to count the number of registrations collected and calculate the percent of eligible students registered at your school.
  3. Submit your application for the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award.
    At the conclusion of your voter registration drive, submit your application for the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award using our online form

Are there resources available to help plan a voter registration drive?

PA Department of State Resources

  • You can use this Quick Guide to get started. The guide covers the basics of what you need to run a high school voter registration drive. 
  • The PA Department of State provides pledge cards to help track registrations. You can download and print the pledge cards, or you can request paper cards from the Department of State using a request form
  • If you need paper voter registration applications, request them from the Department of State using a request form
  • Educators may use the Department of State's voter registration curriculum to integrate the Governor's Civic Engagement Award into classroom activities. The curriculum is also available on the PA Department of Education's Standards Aligned System
  • Educators may use the "How to Organize Your Student Voter Registration List" to help stay organized. 

Outside Resources

  • You might consider partnering with a nonpartisan organization to help train students and track registrations.  
  • Three schools have earned the GCEA Gold Award three years in a row. Read about the secrets to their success in this blog post written by educators at those schools. 
  • PA Youth Vote provides voter registration resources for Pennsylvania schools, including several lesson plans, which you can adapt or use as inspiration for youth voter registration efforts at your school. 
  • Contact your County Elections Office or County Commissioners Office for trusted information on additional youth voter registration initiatives.   

How do I calculate the % of eligible students?

The school awards are calculated using the number of students who will be eligible to vote in the spring Pennsylvania primary election.

When calculating the number of eligible students, you may either use the number of students in the senior class as a proxy for the total number of eligible students, or tabulate the number of students who will be eligible to vote on or before the day of the spring primary election.

How can I involve students who may not be eligible to vote?

Students who are not eligible to vote in the  Pennsylvania primary election can still help organize and run voter registration drives and submit their work to the Student Showcase. They can also help educate their peers about the electoral process. The Department of State also offers The Department of State also offers pledge cards that students can complete to say that they pledge to vote once they are eligible.

How do students earn the Student Poll Worker Award?

  1. Contact your county election office.
    Contact information is at Ask the county election office if they employ high school students as poll workers. If they do, submit the necessary information and application materials to the county.
  2. Work as a poll worker on election day!
    In order to qualify for the award, you must serve as a poll worker on behalf of your county at a polling place in the November 2021 election.
  3. Educators and county officials submit nomination forms.
    Nominations may be submitted by high school educators and county election officials. This year, all nominations must be submitted using our online formPlease note that we request a photo of the student and a signed consent form allowing us to share the student’s name and image publicly. This will allow us to recognize the student in the press and on our website and social media accounts.

Please note that in order for the Department of State to use photo, video or audio of students, we need a signed media consent form from each student (signed by a parent or guardian, unless the student is 18). Download a media consent form.

Recognition Events

We will hold recognition events at the conclusion of the school year to celebrate award winners and highlight Student Showcase submissions. If you have registered your school using the online registration form, we will send you information regarding the dates, times and locations of the recognition events. 


If you have questions, contact the Pennsylvania Department of State at 717-787-5280 or

2022-2023 Winners:

AwardStudent NameSchool NameCounty
Student Poll WorkerAnthony G.Pittsburgh Carrick 9-12Allegheny
Student Poll WorkerLilah R.
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12Allegheny
Student Poll WorkerBrynn C.Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12Allegheny
Student Poll WorkerJoseph T.Abington Senior High SchoolMontgomery
Student Poll WorkerKavi S.Central High SchoolPhiladelphia
Student Poll WorkerMaha N.Harrisburg High School: SciTech CampusDauphin
Student Poll WorkerNatalie E.Trinity High School
Student Poll WorkerMirranda R.Trinity High SchoolWashington
Student Poll WorkerLena H.Harrisburg High School: SciTech CampusDauphin
Student Poll WorkerThomas W.Trinity High SchoolWashington
Student Poll WorkerEmily W.Trinity High SchoolWashington
Student Poll WorkerAjayda W.Harrisburg High School: SciTech CampusDauphin
Student Poll WorkerSacheyska V.Harrisburg High School: SciTech CampusDauphin
Student Poll WorkerBrayden W.Avonworth High SchoolAllegheny
Student Poll WorkerWillow Y.Boiling Springs High SchoolCumberland
Student Poll WorkerZion H.Constitution High SchoolPhiladelphia
Student Poll WorkerJahliah F.Constitution High SchoolPhiladelphia

Level AwardSchool NameCounty
Registered Percent
GoldFriends Select SchoolPhiladelphia100
GoldPittsburgh Obama 6-12Allegheny100
GoldThe Agnes Irwin SchoolDelaware, Montgomery100
GoldTrinity Area School District/Senior High SchoolWashington100
GoldParkway Northwest High SchoolPhiladelphia97.5
GoldHill-Freedman World AcademyPhiladelphia97
GoldConstitution High SchoolPhiladelphia96
GoldJ. R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration SchoolPhiladelphia95
Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6-12Allegheny95
GoldCrispus Attucks Charter SchoolYork94.1
GoldBuilding 21 High SchoolLehigh93.9
GoldCentral High SchoolPhiladelphia93.73
GoldNorthwest Area Junior/Senior High SchoolLuzerne93
GoldBrookville Area High SchoolJefferson91
GoldAvonworth High SchoolAllegheny90
GoldAcademy at PalumboPhiladelphia89.57
GoldMount Pleasant Area Senior High SchoolWestmoreland89.3
GoldArts Academy at Benjamin RushPhiladelphia88
GoldConrad Weiser High SchoolBerks88
GoldHarrisburg High School: SciTech CampusDauphin88
GoldFannett-Metal High SchoolFranklin87.5
GoldCarlisle High SchoolCumberland87.3
GoldLeechburg High School Armstrong, Westmoreland87
GoldLower Merion High SchoolMontgomery87
GoldPenn Treaty SchoolPhiladelphia87
GoldRockwood Area Jr/Sr High SchoolSomerset87
GoldUnion Area High SchoolLawrence87
GoldIndiana Area Senior High SchoolIndiana85.34
GoldMiddletown Area High SchoolDauphin85
GoldPurchase Line High SchoolIndiana, Clearfield85
GoldScience Leadership AcademyPhiladelphia85
SilverPittsburgh CAPA 6-12Allegheny83
SilverWilliam W. Bodine High School for International AffairsPhiladelphia81.19
SilverBoiling Springs High SchoolCumberland75
SilverFort Leboeuf High SchoolErie70
SilverSouth Fayette High SchoolAllegheny68
SilverPA Virtual Charter School
Montgomery, Allegheny,
SilverAvon Grove High SchoolChester65

Previous Year Winners:


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