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Civic Engagement

Student Councils were originally formed in the early 20th century to both provide students an opportunity to engage at their school, and to prepare them for "citizenship." Indeed, having a student council was seen as being part of the civic mission of schools to prepare students to participate in representative democracy.


PASC honors this legacy today by working to amplify student voice and engagement in schools and communities. Through our partnership with PA Principals, we work to help connect students to school leaders and provide them an opportunity to represent their peers. We also provide support to the student representatives on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, host the annual student summit at the state capitol in Harrisburg, and select the students who represent Pennsylvania for the United States Senate Youth Program as well. Additionally, we encourage schools to consider adopting the RSVP program to promote engagement at their own schools

Recently, PASC has worked with the Pennsylvania Department of State to encourage all schools to host voter registration drives for their eligible students. We encourage schools to participate in the Governor's Civic Engagement Award and are proud to recognize those PASC member schools who have received this award at our annual state conference.

If you have questions about these programs, please email


Governor's Civic Engagement Award

PASC is proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of State to promote the Governor's Civic Engagement Award. The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award is presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education. The award celebrates the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to educate, engage and inform their fellow students about how to get involved in the voting process. Recognition is available for both schools as well as individual students. More information can be found at's-Civic-Engagement-Award.aspx. In addition to the awards program, the Department of State also provides helpful resources at their website for schools to conduct voter registration drives.

We encourage all of our members to participate in this exciting program!

Individual and School Recognition 

To earn a school award, schools must hold voter registration drives at their school and register at least 65% of their eligible students to vote by May of each year. Schools that are registered with the Department of State and provide verification of their efforts will receive the GCEA. 

To earn an individual award, a student must participate in a voter registration drive at their school and serve as a poll worker during the general election. To serve as a poll worker, students must be 17 years of age and obtain permission from their principal and parent/guardian to serve as a poll worker.

Congratulations to our PASC member schools that received the GCEA in 2022-2023!

2022-2023 GCEA Schools in PASC

Avonworth High School*^

Leechburg High School*

South Fayette High School

Union Area High School*

*Denotes a Gold Award Winner

^Denotes a school that also had individual student awardees

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