What is the Summer of Service?
Summer of Service (SOS) is a competition conceptualized, developed and executed by the I Believe Initiative, an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence. This competition seeks to encourage youth who are matriculating or are completing their first undergraduate year to dedicate their summer to a worthy cause while vying for prizes that will help them achieve a tertiary education. The voluntary service must be completed within a specified period usually amounting to eight weeks.
Why this competition?
This competition rewards academic excellence while promoting volunteerism among our youth. At a point in time the IBI Team noticed a downward trend in volunteerism among youth and bearing in mind the IBI objectives, the Summer of Service (SOS) was conceptualized.
How can youth enter the competition?
Eligible persons may enter the competition by downloading the current application form on the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE) website at http://www.ggpe.org.jm/.
The application must be completed and emailed along with proof of application or acceptance letter from the Summer of Service participating Universities.
Applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by the competition deadline. Applications may also be hand-delivered at King’s House by the date and time specified in the competition guidelines for the particular year.
Rules of the Competition:
- Competitors must be matriculating to, or be a first year student at the participating Universities to complete a Bachelor degree.
- Competitors must indicate the name and nature of their project in writing by the deadline. Any amendment/s to the project submitted must be completed by the deadline.
- The competitors’ project may be with one of the Charitable or Non-Governmental Organizations in a list provided by the GGPE / SOS Secretariat at King’s House or they may create a project of their own, for which approval must be obtained from King’s House by the deadline.
- Competitors are required to be engaged in their project for a specified time period each week.
- Competitors must report regularly to their Supervisor. Communication streams should be determined between competitors and their designated Supervisor.
- Any difficulties which emerge during the implementation of the project must be brought to the Supervisor’s attention as soon as possible.
- Competitors must sign a Log Sheet each day of service in order to document the number of contact hours given to their project. Supervisors must sign this Log Sheet as confirmation that the service was indeed given.
- Competitors must keep a diary written or electronic on the project. The diary should detail achievements, difficulties experienced and how they were resolved. The Supervisor should check the diary at least on a fortnightly basis.
- Each competitor must submit a final report to King’s House by the stipulated deadline. This report should include photographic or videotaped proof of their involvement before, during and after the project.
- The Supervisor’s report must be submitted separately to King’s House by the deadline.
How many youth will be accepted as competitors for the competition?
There is no limit on the number of Applicants as the competition seeks to increase the spirit of volunteerism.
Will Volunteers be provided with a stipend to fund travelling as they compete?
Regrettably, the IBI cannot provide a stipend. However, competitors are encouraged to seek the support of a sponsor (which may include their church or community associations) to assist with any travel costs. In some cases, the organization within which they volunteer may also be able to assist.
What are the prizes?
These include scholarships and book grants. All prizes are announced in the particular year of the competition.
How will the projects/voluntary work be judged?
Judging is done in two stages:
- A King’s House Panel assesses all entries and determines a short list which is submitted to the Judges. If necessary, the King’s House Panel will visit the short-listed projects in order to present the fullest possible information to the Judges.
- The Judges, comprised of IBI Ambassadors, members of the participating Universities’ Administration and Sponsor/s, examine the submissions from the short-listed competitors, their Supervisors’ Report and the report from the King’s House Panel.
Which Organizations are on board for this competition?
- A list of the participating organizations is made available to competitors each year.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners are announced by the first week of September, after which presentation of prizes are made at King’s House.