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Ben Rush Awards Program

The Benjamin Rush Awards Program was started to motivate and equip high school students to use their voice in the democratic process. We do this by encouraging you (the student) to get out there and use your civic voice! The program also seeks to strengthen the principles of government upon which the United States was founded. Most importantly, though, the Benjamin Rush Awards Program is about preserving liberty for the next generation.

The Basics
Students participating in the Benjamin Rush Awards Program fulfill civic-related requirements and electives to complete one of four different levels. The four tiers of achievement that students can strive for are Citizen, Activist, Patriot, or Statesman. Requirement difficulty is based upon what tier the students are trying to reach. Participants are awarded prizes based on the amount of work they accomplish. For more information on the program and how to get started, please visit our General Guidelines.

The Ben Rush program offers many exciting prizes and scholarships to winning participants! Prizes include scholarships to schools of a student's choice, scholarships to camp, iPods, gifts cards, and GenJ gear! To see specific prizes for each level visit our General Guidelines.

Benjamin Rush? 
Benjamin Rush was a "Jack of all trades" among our founding fathers. At the time of his death in 1813, Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of America’s three most notable men; along with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. He signed the Declaration of Independence, served under three presidents, assisted in founding five universities and colleges, and personally trained over 3,000 medical students. Rush also established American Sunday schools and the first Bible society in America. For more in-depth bio on Benjamin Rush please click here (Courtesy of ColonialHall.com). 

Questions?  
If you have any questions relating to the Ben Rush Program, please e-mail the Awards Administrator at Benrush@hslda.org or call 540-338-8608.

Eligibility Requirements

We don't want to be picky, but if you want to participate in the Benjamin Rush Awards Program, there are a few basic requirements you must meet. Generation Joshua reserves the right to update this list without notice, including clarifications to existing requirements. All eligibility questions should be directed to the Awards Administrator at benrush@hslda.org.  

Eligibility Requirements for Participation in the Benjamin Rush Program

  1.  The Awards Program is open to all students between the ages of 11-19 who have an active membership in Generation Joshua.
    • "Active" is defined as a "current, unexpired membership that is valid at the conclusion of the program."
  2. The Awards Program is open to public, private, and homeschooled students.
  3. The Awards Program is only open to those who specifically register for the program. 
  4. The Awards Program is only open to those who have not completed coursework or graduated from high school.
    • Exception: Graduating high school seniors who finish in the Spring/Summer qualify for that year's program. (Example: If Participant X will graduate with the class of 2010, he/she may participate in the 2010 Awards Program.Participant X may not, however, participate in the 2011 Awards Program.
  5. The Awards Program is only open to those who have not turned 20 years of age.
  6. A parental verification of eligibility will be required of any potential award winner after the Awards Program submission deadline.

Note about scholarships

  1. Scholarships apply to tuition and books ONLY. 

General Guidelines

Introduction to the Ben Rush Program
Generation Joshua is pleased to present its members with another great program through the Ben Rush Awards Program. Students have a chance to learn how to be active citizens in their communities and also can be awarded with GenJ gear and Scholarships. Students will perform a number of civic activities in their communities varying from voter registration drives to campaign volunteering and political lobbying in order to earn prizes and make a difference in their community.

Duration
As of January 2011, we are implementing a rolling calendar in which there is not an annual deadline, but, rather, the students pace themselves and are allowed to complete each level at their own rate. The program will begin when the student registers and will not end until they leave GenJ or complete the program.

Award Tiers

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The Awards
The students are given a chance to earn awards for their involvement ranging from a T-Shirt for completing the easiest tier of the program to a $2500 college scholarship, with other awards in between. These awards are granted after the student has completed their summary paper for the tier
.  

The Statesman Leadership Project
In addition to the core requirements and electives that the participants choose, all students working on the Statesmen tier must complete a unique Leadership Project. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate a significant level of leadership and have an effect on behalf of an issue, candidate, or organization. This project will differ for each student.

Handbooks & Forms

Download Your Handbook
Everything you need to know about the Ben Rush Program is in the little link below. It is the official Ben Rush handbook. Inside you will find the General Guidelines, which are also available online, all the specific requirements for each level, all the details about each requirement, and helpful hints to assist you in successfully completing them.

The Handbook Download 

 

Download Forms

These are forms you MUST fill out for different requirements.

  • Take the voter registration/voter address update forms with you to your location. You will need people to sign them.
  • On the last day that you volunteer at an organization, you will need your supervisor to sign the volunteer hour form.
  • Your mom can sign the public meeting, lecture/seminar, and performance forms.
  • Once they're filled out, you need to either fax them to me or mail them to me, and I will put them towards your points!
Address Update Form Download
Voter Registration Form Download
Concert-Performance Form
Download
Lecture-Seminar Form Download 
Public Meeting Form Download
Volunteer Hours Form Download
Lobbying Form Download
Club Form Download
Petition Signature Form Download
New Member Referral Form Download

Click Here to Complete the Registration Form

Example of a letter to your legislature

This letter is on a bill that was being passed in Senate. It is a perfect example of what a letter to your legislator should look like. Please keep in mind, that legislators DO listen to their constituents. Letters should be persuasively written with a clear thesis as to how you want your legislator to respond to an event, vote on a bill, or react to a court decision. You letter should not be a reaction to something they did. After all, they can't do much to undo something they did.

Example of a letter to your editor

Letters to the editor should be written to the EDITOR or readership of the paper. If you are writing it to your editor, it will most likely be a reaction to something that appeared in the paper or an issue. For example, if the paper printed an article about abortion that you didn't agree with write back with your opinion. If you are writing to the readership, it should be persuasively written to encourage them to action or to change their mind.

Every newspaper has a section for these. Read the ones in your paper to get a grasp for what it should look like. It is important to remember who your audience is (other local citizens) and who it is not (your legislators). Also keep them short, newspapers have limited space, respect that.

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