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What a President’s Volunteer Award Means For You!


The President’s Volunteer Award for many is a symbol of hard work and generous dedication for great causes around the country and abroad. However, what some may not realise, is that the PVA contributes more than just that. The main aims of the award are as follows:

  • Sustain and foster a culture of volunteering, active citizenship, and civic engagement amongst the student population.
  • Develop collaborative projects as well as furthering existing initiatives between UL and our communities.
  • Formally acknowledge and support the contribution that UL student volunteers make to our communities.
  • Promote the development of civic and leadership skills amongst students.

However outside of this, what value does the PVA have for the individual volunteer other than acknowledgement? As the last point says, personal development is key. Though many offer their time and efforts for the sake of a greater good, some are also interested in the mutual satisfaction the award brings for both the individual and the organization. Internationally, people aged 20-24 are the least likely adult demographic to volunteer. We need to change that.

Before we look at any sort of tangible benefits, let’s look at the most important one: your health! The American National Institute of Health revealed in 2018 that there are strong links to the improvement in mental health for those who actively volunteer as opposed to those who do not. In a world where mental health has taken the main stage of importance, something like this could greatly influence a transition for the better. For those who feel as though this issue does not apply to them, why not volunteer with various Irish organizations who help those who do relate? There are plenty of organizations in this field who will happily award you hours towards your PVA in exchange for your time.

Some may think that volunteering with a specific rigid organization simply isn’t for them and that it may not be worth their time to strive for a PVA, but they couldn’t be more wrong! Internationally, only 25-30% of volunteering is done through an organization, while the rest is down elsewhere. This is why we offer a section called “My Other Volunteering”, which allows you to log hours of volunteering that perhaps are outside of the advertised organizations. You may ask how this relates back to the benefits of a PVA, and the answer to that is “personal showcasing”.

A PVA on the face of it is simply a certificate to showcase that you volunteered. However, what some may not realise is that it also shows that you as an individual cared enough to not only benefit the world around you, but also to grow yourself on a personal level. It is on your student transcript for a reason! For example, future employers will look at your award on a CV and will be able to gage a greater understanding and appreciation for you as an individual. It showcases that perhaps financial gain is not the only thing you care for, but also furthering your own personal development and the benefit of the environment around you. This (as the trend goes) is a “green flag” for anyone looking at you from the outside.


In conclusion, if you are looking for a deeper and more meaningful reason to apply for a PVA, consider what it means on paper for your future. Consider why it happened, rather THAT it happened!

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