Service Above Self

Established in 1995 by Dr. Jim Duncan, the Service Above Self Youth Awards is a program that recognizes young people for their service to others in our community. Rowan Rotary Club, Cheerwine and Rowan County United Way, along with various organizations and individuals, work together to make these awards possible.


All nominees receive a framed certificate for their service.

Three individuals and three organizations are recognized in each division: elementary, middle and high school level.
Student winners in each division receive a medal and a check with a matching amount going to their school or nonprofit organization that nominates him/her:
First Place $250
Second Place $100
Third Place $50.
Groups/Organizations that have tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) are eligible for the following: 
First Place: $500 contribution & a plaque
Second Place $100 contribution
Third Place: $50 contribution.


Rowan Service Above Self is proud to welcome scholarships to Catawba College, Livingstone College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for the High School and Middle School winners.

Judges will choose three individual and group winners in the Elementary, Middle and High School divisions. The top middle and high school winners will receive medals, cash awards and $60,000 worth of scholarships to Catawba College or Livingstone College.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will offer two $1,000 scholarships to middle and high school winners.

  • $5,000 scholarship for four years to the No. 1 high school winner
  • $3,000 scholarship for four years to the No. 2 high school winner
  • $2,000 scholarship for four years to the No. 3 high school winner
  • $5,000 scholarship for four years to the No. 1 middle school winner

During my junior and senior years of high school, I was honored to be nominated and awarded the Service Above Self Award. When I applied to Wake Forest University, a school that emphasizes its motto – Pro Humanitate (For Humanity), my Service Above Self Award served as an external validation for the work I had completed with at-risk middle school students. This type of recognition program encouraged me to continue volunteering well beyond my high school career into college. I feel confident that receiving this award enhanced my application to my dream school, but more importantly, I was given encouragement from community leaders that volunteering was a worthy cause.

Dr. Andrew Smith

Assistant Superintendent of Innovation at
NC Department of Public Instruction

All individuals and groups nominated will be honored at the Service Above Self awards ceremony in
the Keppel Auditorium at Catawba College at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 12th, 2023.

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    2019-20 Service Above Self Youth Awards