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Greenville Business Magazine

The Jefferson Awards Foundation Announces Inaugural Class of ChangeMakers in the Upstate

Nov 03, 2017 09:01AM ● By Emily Stevenson

Since 1972 the Jefferson Awards Foundation has recognized a host of national public figures for their outstanding contributions to our country and its communities.  Nationally, the Jefferson Award is the country's highest honor for service and volunteerism, and honorees—individuals including such notable figures as Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill and Melinda Gates—make up a storied group of American heroes whose dedication to service has inspired others to lead.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation’s goal in South Carolina is to cultivate the next generation of our state’s servant leaders.  With that goal in mind, the organization is currently accepting nominations for the first class of ChangeMakers—10 individuals under 40 who have demonstrated a commitment to service and the potential to truly move the Upstate forward. 

The inaugural ChangeMakers class will kick off in January 2018 with a reception and networking event for each of the 10 honorees and their guests.  Throughout the spring these ChangeMakers will work both individually and as a cohort to raise financial support for Students In Action, the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s leadership development program that uses service-learning as the vehicle for arming high schoolers with the life skills they need to be successful in college and the workforce.  These 10 ChangeMakers will also participate in volunteer, community, and other networking activities each month with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring even more young leaders to do their part.  The program will culminate in May 2018 with a celebration event, recognizing each of the 10 honorees with a Jefferson Award and celebrating all they have accomplished to make a difference in the Upstate. 

Nominations are being accepted November 1st through 30th for the 2018 class of ChangeMakers Announcements will be made by mid-December.  Please visit to nominate an Upstate individual age 40 and under for this honor.