WELCOME to the 2018-19 Students In Action program year!

Posted by on October 26th, 2017

Watch our video – What is Students In Action (SIA)

Screenshot 2018-09-28 13.18.11

NEW FOR 2018-19 – the SIA Online Learning Management System (LMS)! Check it out at https://jeffersonawards.litmos.com!

Screenshot 2018-09-28 12.57.55     Screenshot 2018-09-28 12.59.49

If you haven’t received an email with your login credentials, please email Tom Basquill at t.basquill@jeffersonawards.org.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for the 2018-19 Fall Student Leadership Conference

Students In Action – Team Resources

Posted by on October 26th, 2017


Below you can find various different resources to help you and your SIA team plan, implement, and track the impact of your various projects to make your community and your world a better place.  After all, you are leaders when it comes to service and volunteerism in your school and your community. The Jefferson Awards Foundation wants to support you in these efforts!







I hope you find these tools and resources helpful to the work you are doing this year.  If you have other resources you are using, and you’d like to share them with other SIA Teams, please let us know and we can post them in this space.

Looking forward to working with you all on a great year of SIA!

Minnesota’s 1st “Jefferson Awards Celebration of Service” – Wed. March 2nd!

Posted by on February 16th, 2016

You are cordially invited to attend the JEFFERSON AWARDS – MINNESOTA CELEBRATION OF SERVICE

Click for a downloadable map with parking and entrance instructions – Parking & Event Entrance Map.

PARKING: The University recommends parking in the GOLD or GOPHER lots (see downloadable map above), but be aware they cost $10 when you enter the lot.

ENTRANCE TO TCF BANK STADIUM: Enter at the Benton County Premium Event Entrance, located at the south west corner of the stadium between the Goldy’s Locker Room store and the ticket office (see downloadable map above).



Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
University of Minnesota Campus
420 SE 23rd Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55455

  • 4:00-5:30pm – Celebration of Service Program
    • Honoring: 5 MN Businesses, LEAD360 Program Partners, Local Youth Leaders
  • 5:30-8:00pm – Live-Stream of Jefferson Awards National Ceremony from NYC
    • Honoring: Eric Decker, Billie Jean King, Special Tribute to America’s Young Soldiers, Local MN Teen Mandi Simon of Simon Says Give, and other LEAD360 Award Winning Youth

Non-alcoholic beverages and light appetizers will be available during the “Celebration of Service” program

Parking & other details sent to those who RSVP

Questions? Contact Tom Basquill, Minnesota Regional Director: t.basquill@jeffersonawards.org or (763) 742-8142 (cell)

Resources from 2015 Students In Action (SIA) Fall Leadership Conference

Posted by on October 22nd, 2015


Best Place To StartSIA Quick Start Guide


Competition Materials


Working Together As  A Team




Project Planning and Measuring Impact


Our Community, Our Service


Fundraising and Philanthropy

New in SIA Program For 2015-16…

Posted by on July 29th, 2015

As we begin the 2015-16 SIA Program year, I wanted to share some exciting new elements we are unveiling for our Young Leaders and the adults who support them!  Here are some highlights:

1. New Online Tools/Resources – The SIA Training Curriculum is being reformatted to better meet the needs of our students and their advisors.  We are working to make all of our curriculum modules available online, so SIA teams can access them and use them whenever and wherever they like.  Each training module will include videos, worksheets, handouts, and links to online resources. This means that students and advisors who can’t attend our Student Leadership Conferences won’t miss out on accessing all of our resources and tools!

2. New “Blended Learning” Model for Training – Making all our training tools and resources available online means that each of our Student Leadership Conferences will transform from a space where information is handed down to students into a hands-on, interactive event. Students will have more opportunities for discussions and peer-learning. Our young leaders will drive their own leadership development by engaging with each other. Through adult-facilitated workshops, students will be asked to share their experiences, challenges, successes, and ideas with other students. They will learn how other teams have overcome obstacles, engaged their communities, made an impact through service, and become better leaders. This will all help students become part of a Jefferson Awards Community that can support each other and help each other be more successful!

3. Webinars for Adult Advisors – We want to help our adult advisors who play an integral role in the success of SIA.  We offer a ton of tools, resources, and other opportunities for students, but the advisors are our line of contact and communication with the students. To help our SIA advisors better understand how to best use the SIA program with their young leaders, we are offering webinars for the first time.  Any/all advisors are invited to participate in person, or to watch the recorded webinar if in-person participation isn’t possible. We do ask those interested to register at http://bit.ly/SIAAdvisorWebinar. The first two webinars will take place:

  • Thu. 8/27 at 3pm Central Time
  • Tue. 9/22 at 3pm Central Time

4. Stronger Skills and Leadership Development – Our SIA Curriculum is divided into 7 modules, each with specific topics addressed within the module, and each module directly correlated to 1 of the 3 Pillars of SIA (Leadership, Engagement, Impact).  We have worked to include more topics that students have told us they need for success. The new structure looks like this:

Understanding Leadership                                                                                                    (LEADERSHIP PILLAR)            

  • Topics:
    • Introduction to Leadership
    • Values-based Leadership
    • How Good a Leader are you?
    • Leadership and Followership
    • Leadership Styles
    • Working with Different Leadership Styles
    • Applying your Leadership Skills to SIA


Working Together as a Team                                                                                               (LEADERSHIP PILLAR)            

  • Topics:
    • Qualities of an Effective SIA Team
    • Your SIA Team Needs a Variety of Skills
    • Organizing Your SIA Team
    • Basics of Running Your SIA Team
    • Accountability, Overcoming Challenges and Managing Your SIA Team

Our Community, Our Service                                                                                             (LEADERSHIP PILLAR)           

  • Topics:
    • How do we define community?
    • What is a community need and where do you find them?
    • Making service personal- what do I care about?
    • Digging deeper: Exploring root causes and organizations who address them
    • What kinds of service do kids do? Conducting a school service inventory
    • The gap between needs and service: Where your SIA Team comes in.
    • Deciding on a group project


Creating and Measuring Our Impact                                                                                              (IMPACT PILLAR)         

  • Topics:
    • The Main Elements of a Project Plan
    • Envisioning Your Results
    • The Right People in the Right Roles
    • Using SMART Goals
    • Planning How to Track your Results
    • Managing your Project to Success


Raising Money and Support                                                                                                                 (ENGAGEMENT PILLAR)       

  • Topics:
    • Philanthropy and Philanthropists
    • Fundraising 101
    • Engaging Others in your Cause
    • Developing a Strong Case for Support
    • Using Technology to Raise Support
    • Creating a Fundraising Plan


Effective Communication                                                                                                     (ENGAGEMENT PILLAR)       

  • Topics:
    • Getting to the point. Elements of good communication.
    • The art of effective storytelling
    • Elements of great public speaking
    • Body language that supports your message
    • Getting people to say “yes” to your pitch
    • Coaching others to be confident public speakers
    • Using technology to support your oral presentation


Marketing and Media Muscle                                                                                             (ENGAGEMENT PILLAR)

  • Topics:
    • How many ways can we get the word out? (Marketing Inventory)
    • Matching your message with the medium
    • Connecting with local media (TV, radio, newspapers)
    • Making a presentation to decision-makers
    • Designing a Public Service Announcement (PSA)
    • Writing a press release
    • Leveraging partnerships: Who can help you get the word out?
    • The power of social media

We are so excited to work with our returning student leaders and adult advisors, as well as our new SIA teams!  It is going to be a fun and exciting year of youth making an impact on our community and our world!

Tom Basquill

Congrats to Shakopee HS – 2014-15 SIA Regional Winner!

Posted by on July 29th, 2015

This year, the 2014-15 SIA Spring Competition was the closest it has been in the history of our Minnesota Region. The scoring difference between our winning team and the 2nd place team was 1/10th of a point!!!  So congratulations go out to Shakopee High School’s SIA team, which goes by L.E.A.D. (Leaders in Education And Diversity).  And let’s also honor Blaine High School’s SIA team, who was just barely nudged out of the top spot.  Both groups performed valiantly in the competition portion of the SIA Program this year!  We look forward to hosting members of Shakopee’s SIA team at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies in Washington DC this June!

Shakopee HS SIA Team

UPDATED DEADLINE! Online Survey Forms now due THURSDAY 4/9 before Midnight!

Posted by on April 6th, 2015

Good News! The deadline for submitting the online survey form for the SIA Spring Competition has been extended until Thursday, April 9th at 11:59pm. This gives your team an extra 2 days to complete the online survey portion of the SIA Spring Competition! To access the online survey form, go to http://studentsinaction.jeffersonawards.org/sia-training/.

Reminder about the Competition:
1. The Spring Competition is a chance for student teams to showcase their service efforts over the past year and share how your team has used the 3 Pillars of Students In Action (SIA) – Leadership, Engagement, and Impact.
2. The team that wins the Spring Competition wins a trip to the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony in Washington DC this June!
3. All teams that compete will earn a giant Jefferson Awards banner for their school/organization.
4. The competition includes the online survey (now due Thu. 4/9) and an oral presentation to be given by members of your team at the SIA Spring Celebration/Competition Event on Sat. 4/18 at UMN Carlson School from 12:30-3:30pm.
5. Teams will be scored on the online survey and the oral presentation. The team with the highest total score is the MN Regional Winner.
6. The scoring rubrics outline exactly how your team will be scored, and what the scoring judges are looking for. The rubrics can be viewed in the post below this one. (along with other info to help teams prepare for the competition).

As Monday morning 4/6, no teams have submitted their online survey. There must be a winning school, and the fewer teams that compete means the greater the chances you have of winning IF you do compete. So I encourage you and the rest of your team to participate. It is a great exercise in gathering info on all the work you’ve done this year, and developing a fun and creative presentation (6-8 minutes long) to present on Sat. 4/18.

Finally, the MN Vikings have provided some great autographed memorabilia that will be awarded to teams at the Spring Celebration/Competition Event!

Please let me know if your student team is planning to compete.

All teams are invited to attend the event, even if you aren’t competing. This will help you experience what the competition is like, and hear from other teams how and what service they did! You can also participate in the “Audience Choice Award” for best student presentation! Be sure to register your group for the Spring Celebration/Competition Event by this Friday 4/10 by clicking here: http://marketing.jeffersonawards.org/acton/form/11438/002b:d-0001/0/index.htm

If you have any questions about this process, please be sure to ask me. I can’t wait to see learn about all the great work your team has done this year!


Upcoming Spring Competition & Celebration: Online Survey due 4/9/15, Oral Presentation on 4/18/15!

Posted by on March 13th, 2015

Each year, The Minnesota Region of SIA hosts a “Spring Competition & Celebration Event,” and all schools are invited to attend. All schools are also encouraged to participate in the “competition” portion of the event, however participation is voluntary. The SIA team that wins the competition gets to send 2 students and 1 adult to the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony in Washington DC in June (at no cost), and have a chance to win a National Jefferson Award.

Additionally, all SIA teams that choose to compete in the Regional Competition will earn a huge, 4ft x 6ft Jefferson Awards banner for their school. The banner will be either Bronze, Silver, or Gold – depending on the team’s final competition score.

An SIA Team with their 2014 Silver Banner

An SIA Team with their 2014 Silver Banner

If you choose to participate, there are 2 components to the competition – The Online Survey and the Oral Presentation.

The Online Survey asks SIA teams questions about how they have achieved the 3 Pillars of SIA – Leadership, Engagement, Impact.  These questions must be completed using our online system, and instructions for using the online system can be found by clicking on the link below.  Also linked below is a PDF of the questions on the online survey, and the Survey Scoring Rubric which shows you exactly how many points each survey question is worth.  You can also click the link to see a PDF of the questions on the online survey. Online Surveys must be completed and submitted by 11:59pm on April 9th, 2015.

The Oral Presentation takes place at the Spring Competition & Celebration Event on Sat. April 18th.  Presentations MUST be 8 minutes or less (or points will be deducted), and should include information on how the SIA team accomplished the 3 Pillars (Leadership, Engagement, Impact). Presentations will be judged on 6 Criteria, including a Q & A by our panel of judges. You can see the scoring rubric for the presentations linked below, including sample questions our judges may ask the presenters.

All SIA students, whether they are competing or not, are encouraged to attend the Competition & Celebration Event. It is a great opportunity for everyone to hear about projects other students have worked on, to learn and ask questions of each other, and to celebrate some outstanding youth service!

Finally, we’ve created a Competition Preparation Guide, linked below, which gives tips from other SIA students on how to receive the most points on the Online Survey (page 1) and the Oral Presentation (page 2).


Online Survey Instructions

Competition Survey Questions 2014-15 (Rev 12-15-14)

Survey Rubric Score Sheet 2014-15

Oral Presentation Rubric 2014-15

2014-15 SIA Spring Competition Preparation Guidance