What is the Summer of Service?

Summer of Service (SOS) is a programme conceptualized, developed and executed by the I Believe Initiative, an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence. This programme 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.

 

Objectives:

  • To reward academic excellence among students who are desirous of pursuing a tertiary education but whose financial circumstances limit this possibility.
  • To increase the spirit of volunteerism among youth.

Target Audience:

  • Young people matriculating or are completing their first year at an accredited local university / college in a full-time undergraduate;
  • Young persons (17-35 years old) with track record or academic excellence, volunteerism and financial need.

Programme Rules:

  • Participants must be matriculating to, or be a first year student at a local accredited tertiary institution to complete a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Participants must submit the name and nature of their project by the deadline. Any amendment/s to the project submitted must also be completed by the deadline.
  • Participants are required to be engaged in their project for a specified time period each week. However, in light of the corona virus, this has been temporarily nullified.
  • Participants must report regularly to their Supervisor. Communication streams should be determined between participants 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.
  • Participants 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 executed.
  • Participants are encouraged to keep a diary 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 participant must submit a final report to the GGPE Secretariat 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 the Secretariat by the deadline.

Will a stipend be provided?

Regrettably, the IBI cannot provide a stipend. However, participants 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 programme.

How will the projects/voluntary work be judged?

Judging is done in two stages:

  • A GGPE Panel assesses all entries and determines a short list which is submitted to the judges. If necessary, the Panel will visit the shortlisted projects in order to present the fullest possible information to the judges.
  • The judges, comprising of GGPE stakeholders, examine the submissions from the shortlisted participants, their Supervisors’ Report and the report from the GGPE Panel.

The quality of the final project report will factor into the decision whether to retain or remove candidates from the Programme. 

Timelines:

JUNE

Applications open Tuesday, 16th June

JULY

Applications close Friday, 31st July

Project confirmations: Tuesday, 4th August – Wednesday, 5th August

Shortlisting & Interviews: Monday, 10th August – Tuesday, 11th August

AUGUST

SOS Awards Presentation: During the week of August 17th – 21st

‘Presentation’ may be a virtual ceremony or take the form of a press release.

2021

SOS Projects Begin: Monday, 11th January, 2021

SOS Projects End: Friday, 9th July, 2021