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Pennsylvania Collegiate Mental Health Conference and Awards Ceremony

The One Life Project supports students, young adults, teens, and community members working with youth each and every year through awards ceremonies, give back events, and through corporate partnerships. We pride ourselves on working to celebrate local heroes worldwide who work to protect and support the youth of today.

What is this event and awards ceremony?

Each year since 2018, the One Life Project has hosted an annual Collegiate Awards Ceremony surrounding mental health and advocacy from and for college students. The awards event and conference takes place in a different state and city each year during the end of suicide prevention month (September). The conference and awards ceremony includes guest speakers, a short workshop, and an awards ceremony where the One Life Project, government agencies, and local media celebrate heroes across the community and the state where the ceremony is being held. The awards all relate to college students and those who work to support, educate, and advocate for college students. The event lasts for around three hours, includes a dinner, and is published across social media and through local and state news agencies who attend. Ceremonies in previous years have taken place in New York, NY; Albany, NY; Keene, NH; and Wildwood, NJ.

Where is this years event?

In 2024, the One Life Project is opening three state offices across Pennsylvania including offices in Lancaster, Hershey, and State College. With this, the One Life Project has decided to host this years ceremony and conference in Pennsylvania to shine a light on the states' heroes. The ceremony this year will be held at the PennStater Hotel in State College, Pennsylvania on Sunday, September 29th, 2024 from 6-9pm EST. All winners of the awards get a free ticket to this years awards ceremony and a free dinner. Other tickets can be purchased for $30 and include a full dinner and full access to the event. Tickets become available the same day the award winners are announced.

What are the awards this year?

For 2024, the One Life Project is announcing 5 awards and 3 additional internal only awards. The awards include the following. Please read through before nominating someone to assure your nominee meets the expected criteria.

President's Collegiate Hero Award

The President's Collegiate Hero Award is one of the highest honors the One Life Project bestows on community members. The award honors college students for acts of heroism. This award recognizes students who have performed a life-saving act or a prolonged act of community service beyond what would be deemed normal as a college student. It is part of the broader effort to highlight and celebrate the positive contributions and courageous actions of young people.

Typically, recipients of the President's Collegiate Hero Award are recognized for:

1. Life-Saving Actions: Instances where a student has directly saved a life through immediate and decisive action.
2. Community Service: Acts of courage that go above and beyond what might be expected are also included in our Hero Award. Students who work to protect others and those who work to stand up for others fall into this category.

The award not only acknowledges the individual achievements of the awarded individual, but also serves to inspire others to act with courage and selflessness in challenging situations. 

Requirements for this award include:

  • At least 10 nominations from different individuals. The nominee must have been nominated at least ten times by different individuals to be a potential winner of this award.

  • Nominee must have either 1. Saved the life of or worked to contribute to saving the life of another individual or 2. Committed substantial ongoing influence in their community, or college campus, or hometown in a large and impactful way.

  • Nominee must have been a resident of Pennsylvania during the time of their service or act of bravery and must remain a resident through October 1st of 2024 to be considered for this award.

  • Nominee must have been enrolled as a student in a college or university at the time of their service or act.

  • Nominee does not need to meet a certain age criteria, but MUST have been a college student during their acts of service and these acts must not have been made more than 1.5 years ago (from June 1st, 2024).

  • Nominations are open for all PA residents.

 

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by the President of the One Life Project. The President, Executive President's Assistant, and Vice President select this winner and it is voted on by our Board of Directors including over 50 people leaders from across the United States.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

Collegiate Mental Health Advocate Award

The Collegiate Mental Health Advocate Award, presented by the One Life Project, honors one college student who has made significant contributions to mental health awareness and advocacy on their college campus. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership, commitment, and innovative approaches in promoting mental health and well-being among their peers.

Key aspects of the Collegiate Mental Health Advocate Award include:

1. Leadership: The recipient is often a leader who has organized events, founded a club, or led initiatives aimed at improving mental health resources and support systems within their college communities.
2. Advocacy: The award winner is typically an advocate who has worked to reduce stigma around mental health issues, encouraging open discussions and promoting understanding.
3. Innovation: The award celebrates those who have introduced creative solutions or programs that address mental health challenges faced by students.
4. Impact: Emphasis is placed on the measurable impact of the recipient’s efforts, such as increased awareness, improved access to mental health services, or positive changes in campus policies.

The One Life Project aims to bring attention to the importance of mental health and the need for supportive environments in educational institutions. By recognizing and honoring the efforts of outstanding student advocates, the Collegiate Mental Health Advocate Award helps to inspire continued progress in the field of mental health on college campuses.

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee must have a track record of promoting kindness and positivity along with mental health advocacy on their college campus and/or online.

  • Nominee must have been a resident of Pennsylvania during the time of their service or act of bravery and must remain a resident through October 1st of 2024 to be considered for this award.

  • Nominee must be enrolled as a student in a college or university at the present time and must attend classes on a campus.

  • Nominations are open for all PA residents.

 

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by leadership staff with the One Life Project. A national awards committee selects this award winner. The committee is made up of 35 individuals from Pennsylvania which include government officials, business owners, college administration, and community leaders.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

Pennsylvania Bright Light Award

The Pennsylvania Bright Light Award is an accolade presented by the One Life Project to recognize outstanding individuals or groups in Pennsylvania who have made significant contributions to mental health advocacy and support. This award celebrates those who have shown exceptional dedication to improving mental health awareness in colleges, reducing stigma, and providing support to college students in need within the state.

Key elements of the Pennsylvania Bright Light Award include:

1. Commitment to Mental Health: Recipients are recognized for their unwavering commitment to enhancing mental health services and support systems in their communities.
2. Advocacy and Awareness: The award honors those who have actively worked to raise awareness about mental health issues and advocated for better mental health policies and practices.
3. Innovation and Impact: Awardees are often individuals or organizations that have implemented innovative programs or initiatives that have had a measurable positive impact on mental health in Pennsylvania.
4. Leadership and Inspiration: The award seeks to acknowledge leaders who inspire others to take action and contribute to the mental well-being of their communities.

The One Life Project, through the Pennsylvania Bright Light Award, aims to highlight the important work being done at the local level to support mental health and to encourage continued efforts in this vital area. This award serves as both a recognition of past achievements and a motivator for future advocacy and innovation in mental health.

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee may be an individual or group and does not need to be a current college student.

  • Nominee must be a current resident of Pennsylvania.

  • Nominee may be of any age and does does not need to be a current or former college student. This award recognizes those who work to support and educate college students and their communities.

  • Nominations are open for all PA residents, although a preference is on residents of the State College, PA area.

 

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by leadership staff with the One Life Project. A national awards committee selects this award winner. The committee is made up of 35 individuals from Pennsylvania which include government officials, business owners, college administration, and community leaders.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

Young Adult Volunteerism Award

The Young Adult Volunteerism Award, presented by the One Life Project, recognizes college students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to volunteerism and community service, particularly in the field of mental health. This award honors young adults who have devoted their time, energy, and talents to making a positive impact on their communities through volunteer work.

Key aspects of the Young Adult Volunteerism Award include:

1. Dedication to Service: Recipients are acknowledged for their consistent and passionate commitment to volunteer activities, especially those related to mental health and well-being.
2. Community Impact: The award celebrates students who have made a tangible difference in their communities, improving the lives of others through their volunteer efforts.
3. Leadership and Initiative: Awardees are often leaders who have initiated or led volunteer projects, mobilizing peers and community members to address mental health challenges.
4. Inspiration and Role Modeling: The recipients serve as role models, inspiring other young adults to engage in volunteerism and contribute to their communities.

The One Life Project aims to promote mental health awareness and support through various initiatives, and the Young Adult Volunteerism Award highlights the critical role that college students play in these efforts. By recognizing and honoring outstanding young volunteers, the award encourages continued engagement and fosters a culture of service and compassion among college students.

 

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee may be an individual from any part of Pennsylvania.

  • Nominee may volunteer for another organization, a nonprofit, or just do community work in their location. Any volunteer work will be recognized, however those working with youth will be considered first.

  • Nominee must be a current resident of Pennsylvania.

  • Nominee must be over the age of 17 and under the age of 25 at the time of the awards ceremony.

  • Nominations are open for all PA residents, although a preference is on residents of the State College, PA area.

 

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by leadership staff with the One Life Project. A national awards committee selects this award winner. The committee is made up of 35 individuals from Pennsylvania which include government officials, business owners, college administration, and community leaders.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

College Mental Health Ally Award

The College Mental Health Ally Award, presented by the One Life Project, recognizes college students who have demonstrated exceptional support, advocacy, and allyship in the field of mental health. This award honors individuals who have gone above and beyond to create a more inclusive, understanding, and supportive environment for those dealing with mental health issues on their campuses.

Key aspects of the College Mental Health Ally Award include:

1. Support and Advocacy: Recipients are recognized for their active efforts to support peers facing mental health challenges and for advocating for better mental health resources and policies.
2. Promotion of Inclusivity: The award honors students who work towards creating an inclusive atmosphere where all students feel safe and supported, particularly those who are vulnerable or marginalized.
3. Raising Awareness: Awardees are often involved in initiatives that raise awareness about mental health, aiming to reduce stigma and encourage open discussions about mental health issues.
4. Leadership and Impact: The recipients are leaders who have made a significant impact through their actions, whether by organizing events, leading support groups, or working with campus administration to improve mental health services.

The One Life Project, through the College Mental Health Ally Award, seeks to highlight the critical role that allies play in promoting mental health and well-being on college campuses. By recognizing these dedicated students, the award aims to inspire others to become active supporters and advocates for mental health.

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee may be an individual from any part of Pennsylvania.

  • Nominee MUST be a college student and enrolled in a school at the time of the awards ceremony.

  • Nominee must be a current resident of Pennsylvania.

  • Nominee must be over the age of 17 and under the age of 25 at the time of the awards ceremony.

  • Nominations are open for all PA residents, although a preference is on residents of the State College, PA area.

  • Nominee MUST have done extensive work in their community to promote inclusivity and equality involing their college community or campus through various work and projects.

 

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by leadership staff with the One Life Project. A national awards committee selects this award winner. The committee is made up of 35 individuals from Pennsylvania which include government officials, business owners, college administration, and community leaders.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

Internal Award: One Life Project Volunteer of the Year Award

The One Life Project Volunteer of the Year Award is an internal accolade given by the One Life Project to honor a non-leader volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding dedication, commitment, and impact in their work with our organization. This award recognizes an individual whose contributions have significantly furthered the mission of the One Life Project, particularly in the realm of mental health advocacy and support involving young people.

 

To be eligible for the One Life Project Volunteer of the Year Award, internal candidates must meet several key requirements that demonstrate their exceptional commitment, impact, and leadership within the organization.

Volunteer Award Requirements:

1. Active Volunteer Status: The candidate must be an active volunteer with the One Life Project, having contributed a significant amount of time and effort over the past year. At least 30 hours of time must have been completed in the last 6 months.

2. Commitment to the Mission: Demonstrated dedication to the One Life Project's mission of promoting mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and providing support to those in need.

3. Significant Impact: Evidence of the volunteer’s significant positive impact on the organization’s initiatives. This could include leading successful projects, enhancing the effectiveness of existing programs, or introducing innovative solutions.

4. Consistency and Reliability: A track record of consistent and reliable participation in volunteer activities, demonstrating dependability and a strong work ethic.

5. Teamwork and Collaboration: Ability to work well with others, including other volunteers, staff members, and the community. Positive relationships and effective collaboration are essential.

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee may be an individual from any state in the United States and must be an active volunteer with the One Life Project outside a leadership capacity.

  • The nominee may be of any age or location, but will need to attend the awards ceremony. 

  • Nominee must have been an active volunteer with the One Life Project for at least 3 months

  • The selection committee will look at the volunteers work history, projects they have worked on, and their overall inclusion with our organization.

  • The nominee may be nominated by both external community members and the general public and by internal members of the One Life Project.

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by One Life Project leadership staff. An internal leadership committee selects this award winner. 

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

Internal Award: One Life Project Leader of the Year Award (2 awards)

The One Life Project Leader of the Year Award is an internal accolade given by the One Life Project to honor two internal One Life Project leaders who has demonstrated outstanding dedication, commitment, leadership, and impact in their work with our organization. This award recognizes two individuals whose contributions have significantly furthered the mission of the One Life Project in their respected role or division.

 

To be eligible for the One Life Project Leader of the Year Award, internal candidates must meet several key requirements that demonstrate their exceptional commitment, impact, and leadership within the organization.

Volunteer Award Requirements:

1. Active Volunteer Status: The candidate must be an active volunteer with the One Life Project, having contributed a significant amount of time and effort over the past year. At least 30 hours of time must have been completed in the last 6 months.

2. Commitment to the Mission: Demonstrated dedication to the One Life Project's mission of promoting mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and providing support to those in need.

3. Significant Impact: Evidence of the volunteer’s significant positive impact on the organization’s initiatives. This could include leading successful projects, enhancing the effectiveness of existing programs, or introducing innovative solutions.

4. Consistency and Reliability: A track record of consistent and reliable participation in volunteer activities, demonstrating dependability and a strong work ethic.

5. Teamwork and Collaboration: Ability to work well with others, including other volunteers, staff members, and the community. Positive relationships and effective collaboration are essential.

6. Leadership: Nominee must have been in an active leadership role for at least three months. Leaders must have been in their role for at least 2 the last most current three months. The nominee should have been highly recognized in their work as a leader through our organization.

Requirements for this award include:

  • Nominee may be an individual from any state in the United States and must be an active volunteer with the One Life Project in a leadership capacity.

  • The nominee may be of any age or location, but will need to attend the awards ceremony. 

  • Nominee must have been an active volunteer with the One Life Project for at least 3 months and be a current leader.

  • The selection committee will look at the volunteers work history, projects they have worked on, and their overall inclusion with our organization.

  • The nominee may be nominated by both external community members and the general public and by internal members of the One Life Project.

The selection process for this award includes:

  • The award is presented by One Life Project leadership staff. This award is selected by the President of the One Life Project only.

  • Nominee will be notified via email on August 1st, 2024 if they have been selected as an award winner. The nominee must commit to attending the awards ceremony and receiving their award and prize package at the event.

  • Nominee must commit to interviews, potential news interviews, and images being taken for social media and multiple websites as part of the awards ceremony.

What do the award winners win?

Award prize packages depend on each individual award. All awards include a certificate, medal or trophy, and a prize pack from Pennsylvania businesses. Top awards include cash prizes and gift cards through one of our organization's partners including Walmart, Sheetz, or Hollister.

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