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Distinguished Student Leader Program

The Distinguished Student Leader Program is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) to motivate and challenge student leaders to extend their leadership skills and activities, and to confer PASC’s recognition upon those students who demonstrate superior leadership skills and knowledge, based upon PASC criteria and evaluation procedures. We accept applications year-round, the only requirement is that a student must apply for the award prior to their high school graduation.

Different from NASC's Distinguished Student Leader award, this acknowledgement operates solely on a state level to highlight the PASC student members that are truly remarkable. ​Also different from the NASC DSL award, the PASC DSL award is open to both our councils as well as our National Honor Society members. PASC is presenting our council and chapter members with not only a challenge, but also with an opportunity to grow and to improve through self-evaluation. 

There is no limit on how many students can receive this recognition; all eligible students will be named PASC Distinguished Student Leaders. We encourage all eligible students to apply!

While not part of the formal application process, students are encouraged to review the #futuready resources from National Honor Society to help with their personal growth and development. 



Alondra Ayala, Whitehall HS

Ava Cardone, South Fayette HS

Carly Garrubba, South Fayette HS

Chanith Jayasooriya, 

Westmont Hilltop HS

Allison Rocco*, North Pocono HS

Tessa Schwarzmiller, South Fayette HS

Alycia Stier, South Fayette HS

Anjali Verma, Pennridge HS

Paige Westbrook, South Fayette HS

Penelope Ziegler, Mountain View JSHS


* Denotes a Distinguished Student Leader of Excellence

PASC Distinguished Student Leader Program

National Association of Student Councils (NASC) Distinguished Student Leader Program

In addition to the PASC Distinguished Student Leader Award, there is also the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) Distinguished Student Leader Program for student council members. The NASC program is a rigorous and challenging skill- and knowledge-based recognition program created to identify outstanding individual student council leaders in high schools. Students who earn the NASC Distinguished Student Leader designation have demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities.

In seeking recognition, students will complete a variety of tasks focused on building leadership knowledge and improving skills. Students will keep a record of activities and show they’ve met the award criteria by creating a personal leadership portfolio. This portfolio will also serve as a valuable record of their achievements and commitment as a leader—something they may refer to often when they’re applying for college and scholarships.

We encourage our members to consider applying for this program, and ask you please notify us at if you receive this recognition!

NASC Distinguished Student Leader Program

National Association of Student Councils (NASC) Emerging Student Leader Program

In addition to the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) Distinguished Student Leader Program, NASC also offers the Emerging Student Leader program for middle level student council students. This program provides middle level students have their own recognition program that identifies outstanding student council leaders who have made significant strides in developing their skills as young leaders. Students who earn the Emerging Student Leader designation have shown strong leadership aptitude and a willingness to continue improving.

The Emerging Student Leader recognition program:

  • Provides students and advisers with a set of criteria specifically selected for middle level leaders that identifies basic knowledge, skills, and behaviors that foster leadership development in early adolescents.

  • Challenges students to extend and personalize their student council experience by striving to meet the NASC criteria.

  • Advances middle level leaders in their aspirations to be effective high school student leaders.

  • Cultivates better leaders earlier in their academic careers, ultimately improving the culture of your student council and creating exemplary role models for other students.

We encourage our members to consider applying for this program, and ask you please notify us at if you receive this recognition!

NASC Emerging Student Leader Program


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program will award scholarships to students recognized for their dedication and selfless commitment to volunteerism.  Eligible students must currently be in grades 5-12 and must be engaged in an act of volunteerism that has occurred, at least in part, during the twelve months prior to the application date.  Programs could be done in or out of school.  All middle level and high school throughout Pennsylvania will receive program information and applications in early September.  

What do honorees win?

  • Students chosen as Local Honorees receive a Certificate of Achievement from their schools or organizations. Those who qualify (50 hours of service for age 14 and younger, 100 hours for those older) also receive the President's Volunteer Service Award.

  • State Honorees receive an award of $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for national recognition events.

  • National Honorees receive an additional award of $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their schools or organizations, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a non-profit, charitable organization of their choice.

Prudential Spirit Awards


The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution in 1962 creating the United States Senate Youth Program, a national initiative to provide a yearly opportunity for talented young people with demonstrated leadership abilities to deepen their understanding of America’s political processes and strengthen their resolve to pursue careers in public service.

The program is merit based and highly competitive. The United States Senate Youth Program brings the highest-level officials from each branch of government together with an outstanding group of high-school students—two high school juniors or seniors from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity—during an intensive week-long educational program held in Washington, D.C. This includes Cabinet members, Ambassadors, military leaders, the Parliamentarian of the Senate, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and often, the President of the United States. In addition, each student receives a one-time $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship.

For more information, please click on the link below.

US Senate Youth Program

National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA)

Are you an NJHS member who is committed to the five pillars of National Junior High Society: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship? If so, then we encourage you to apply for the NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA). The top 500 students will receive a $500 college savings plan to support their educational aspirations!

To be eligible, a student must be:

  • An active and current member in good standing of a National Junior Honor Society chapter, meeting all membership requirements and obligations of the local chapter.

  • An NJHS student account holder, verified by the NJHS chapter adviser.

Note: There are no limits to the number of applicants per chapter.

Applications are due back in late March. Please click on the link below for more information and the application!

Congratulations to our 2023 awardees from Pennsylvania!

Michael Windle        Agora Cyber Charter Middle School               King Of Prussia, PA

Colton Custer          Berlin Brothersvalley Middle School                Berlin, PA

Leah Drahushak       Harbor Creek Junior High School                    Harborcreek, PA

Carlie Chludzinski    Harbor Creek Junior High School                    Harborcreek, PA

Maria Barker            Harbor Creek Junior High School                    Harborcreek, PA

Kate Gruwell           Harbor Creek Junior High School                    Harborcreek, PA

Matthew Olsen        Holy Family School                                          Nazareth, PA

Leah Zacharia          Holy Family School                                          Nazareth, PA

Nathan Purcell        Independence Middle School                           Bethel Park, PA

Madelyn Kazanjian  Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School         King Of Prussia, PA

Alexa Martin           Northeastern Middle School                            Mount Wolf, PA

Jillian Ryba              Norwin Middle School                                    North Huntingdon, PA

McKenzie Johnston Saucon Valley Middle School                          Hellertown, PA

National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA)
Governor's Civic Engagement Award

Governor's Civic Engagement Award - Individual Recognition

PASC is proud to work with the Pennsylvania Department of State to promote civic engagement. The Department of State annually offers the Governor's Civic Engagement Award (GCEA). The GCEA is an opportunity for recognition for both councils as well as individuals. For the individual award, a student must perform two actions:

  1. Assist with voter registration at their school.

  2. Serve as a poll worker in an election.

The GCEA is awarded annually in the spring, and we encourage all students to participate in the process. If you are interested in learning more about the GCEA, please click on the link below to be redirected to our Civic Engagement page. 

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