Volunteer Opportunities

The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the President’s Volunteer Service Award?

Every day, millions of Americans volunteer, using their time, talents, and compassion, to make a difference in the lives of others. By mentoring a child, caring for an elderly neighbor, teaching someone to read, or bringing food and clothes to those who need them, Americans are helping to foster a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility for generations to come. It is through these acts of kindness and decency that we are able to demonstrate the true character and compassion of our country.

Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service to others. It encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspires others to make volunteering a central part of their lives. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is a presidential recognition program for Americans of all ages who contribute a significant amount of time to volunteer service. It is an initiative of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the USA Freedom Corps and is administered by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. The program recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard, measured by the number of hours served over a 12-month period.

How can I receive an award?

The Aga Khan Council for the USA will serve as the certifying organization for the award. The oversight of the award falls under Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering (i-CERV), whose teams are responsible for collecting completed packets and distributing the award. Award winners will receive a personalized certificate of achievement, a note of congratulations from the President of the United States, and an official lapel pin.

How many hours do I need?

Given their ongoing service activity, many individuals, families, and groups may have already met the requirements to earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award. There are three different age level groups and three different awards per age level (please note: This chart denotes student’s age on Dec. 31 of the year). They are broken down as follows:





Call to Service


Kids (ages 5-10)

At least 25% of hours must be external





Teens (ages 11-15)

At least 25% of hours must be external


75 – 99



Young Adults (ages 16-25)

At least 50% of hours must be external

100 – 174

175 – 249



Adults (26 and older)

At least 50% of hours must be external

100 – 249

250 – 499



Families and Groups (2 or more people)

At least 50% of hours must be external

200 – 499

500 – 999




What are the requirements?

To qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, each candidate must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Every individual must volunteer the required number of service hours between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. See the table above for the number of required hours for each age group/award
  2. In order to be recognized, service activities must meet national or community needs. Activities should be unpaid and may not be court-ordered community service. In addition to Jamatkhana-hosted events, each individual should proactively seek outreach volunteer activities.
  3. Based on the age of the volunteer, a varying percentage of the total hours may consist of internal Jamati activities (i.e. REC teacher, Camp Mosaic counselor etc.) and external outreach activities (i.e. i-CERV external outreach service activities, feeding the hungry, mentoring, cleaning parks). It is important to note that the percentage of external hours may be greater than the minimums listed below while the percentage of internal hours may NOT be greater than the maximums listed below. The percentage breakdown for each activity/age group is as follows:

Age Group


Kids (ages 5-10)

Teens (ages 11-15)

75% Jamati Activity (maximum)

25% Jamati Outreach Activity (minimum)

Young Adults (ages 16-25)

Adults (ages 26 and older)

Families and Groups (2 or more people)

50% Jamati Activity (maximum)

50% Jamati Outreach Activity (minimum)


4. Each volunteer 14 years and older must register and submit a record of hours using the tool provided on the President’s Volunteer Service Award website http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov. Please be sure to submit a copy of this log with the rest of your material by the schedule set forth by the local Youth Club or Youth Engaged in Service team. Details regarding the log are below. Volunteers under 14 years do NOT need to complete this step
5.  Each volunteer is responsible for completing a Community Service Verification Form for each activity as well as a Cover Sheet (see attachment below). Furthermore, applicants 14 years and older should turn in a printout of their completed service log (steps listed below). Incomplete packets or packets not signed by a community service representative will receive 0 credit hours.

a.   Volunteers under 14 years only need to submit the Cover Sheet and the Community Service Verification Form (see attachment below). They do not have to log their hours online according to the steps below

Well, you’ve convinced me. How do I sign up?

1.        Assuming you are 14 years or older, go to http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/register-vo

2.        Fill out the necessary information, then press SUBMIT APPLICATION

3.       You should now be in your profile.  Find the seciton that says “Record of Service Key” and click on the EDIT button next to it.

4.        Enter CO-FZL-9672W as the code and click SAVE

And how do I login?

1.        Go to http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov and select “Login” in the upper-right hand corner

2.        Enter your username in the box below “Username” and your password in the box below “Password”

3.        Select the “Login” button

Now how do I track my hours for the award?

1.        Log into http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov and select the “My Service” tab

2.        Select “Create New Record”

3.        Fill in “Service Activity”, “Start date”, “End date”, and “Hours of Service” cells

a.        If the service is a i-CERV activity, type “i-CERV – [Activity Name]” under “Service Activity”

b.       If the service reoccurs, choose Yes for “Make this a reoccurring activity” and complete the cells

4.       Fill in any other pertinent information

5.        Select the “Add this Activity” button

6.       Repeat steps 2-5 until your hour log is up to date and accurate

7.        Click “Export to CSV” to download your hours into an Excel file.  Print that completed log sheet and submit it along with the cover sheet (see attachment below) as a scanned pdf document via email to pvsa@ysbwest.com.

8.       Deadline to submit all documentation for the 2015 award is Feb. 1, 2016.

PVSA Signed Verification Form_2015