Across Texas, there are countless examples of how volunteering can transform lives and communities. The Governor’s Volunteer Awards shine a spotlight on these inspiring stories and offer statewide recognition to the diverse ways that Texans are giving back with their time and talents. This annual volunteer recognition program, administered by OneStar, culminates in a special ceremony at the Texas Governor’s Mansion hosted by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the Governor’s Volunteer Awards.
Nominations for the 38th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards are closed. The deadline to submit a nomination was Friday, July 23, 2021. Award recipients will be announced by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott in September 2021.
This award recognizes the outstanding service of an individual who has volunteered for a minimum of 15 years in Texas communities. Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award winners are those rare individuals who recognize a community need and create and engage in innovative and sustained volunteer service to achieve positive change.
This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of Texans 18 years of age or younger serving and inspiring their community through service. These young volunteers demonstrate leadership, commitment to service, and the ability to inspire others of all ages to serve.
This award recognizes extraordinary contributions of Texans 19 years of age or older serving and inspiring their community through service. The Volunteer of the Year showcases exceptional leadership and dedication to address community challenges while inspiring others to serve.
This award recognizes outstanding families (two or more related individuals) that volunteer together to create meaningful impact in their communities. The Volunteer Family of the Year is a true champion of service and a role model for family involvement in their community.
This award recognizes private sector corporations and small businesses for implementing employee volunteer programs that have demonstrable community impact and set community service as a core value and business strategy.
This award recognizes institutions of learning, including K-12 public and charter schools, community colleges, and universities, that utilize service as a key component of their academic curriculum. Service-Learning Champions go above and beyond to develop the next generation of civic-minded, socially engaged Texans.
This award recognizes organizations supporting or engaging volunteers that truly think outside the box to make volunteerism more accessible, more productive, and more available to their fellow Texans.
This award recognizes organizations, cities, and counties that do an exceptional job of utilizing volunteers to meet the needs of Texas communities during all phases of disaster – mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Awardees exemplify communication, coordination, and collaboration and are a model for disaster volunteerism in Texas.
This award recognizes the exemplary achievements of an AmeriCorps member or AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer who is currently serving or has served in the last three years in the state of Texas. Awardees go above and beyond the scope of their service requirements and inspire others to serve while creating meaningful impact.
The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program abides by the following guidelines to maintain fairness and transparency.
Nominators and award winners will be notified before award winners are announced publicly by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott by September 2021.
If a nominee is selected for an award, the nominee will be required to submit a short biography and high-resolution photos, including one headshot and images depicting the nominee in service. Information from nominations may be released to the media and to elected officials.
Each year, OneStar recognizes standout service and volunteerism efforts across a number of awards categories that recognize the diverse ways Texans are serving their communities. Learn more about our past award recipients and view photos from the Governor’s Volunteer Awards ceremonies!
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement||Bill Gilliland (Abilene)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||Annie Zhu & Shirley Zhu (Houston)
The Three Mask-eteers (Houston)
|Partners in Education||The Women’s Fund (Houston)|
|Service to Veterans||Brandy Baxter (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Carry The Load (Northeast Texas)
|Community Leadership||Blake Jennings (College Station)
Crime Stoppers of Houston (Houston)
AmeriCorps Central Texas (Central Texas)
|Corporate Community Impact||Texas Mutual (Central Texas & statewide)|
|Higher Education Community Impact||Rebuild Texas Carpentry Skills Training Program at Del Mar College (Coastal Bend)|
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Samantha Mariel Sandoval Hernández (Manor)|
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award||Sammy Nieto (San Antonio)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||Kara Weld (San Antonio)|
|Partners in Education||Reading with Barbers (Fort Worth)|
|Service to Veterans||H.O.N.O.R. Mentoring (Lovelady)|
|Community Leadership||Dr. John Fink (Hondo)|
|Corporate Community Impact||Noble Charities Foundation (La Feria, New Braunfels)|
|Higher Education Community Impact||St. Mary’s University Office of Community Engagement, Center for Legal and Social Justice and Office of University Ministry (San Antonio)|
Austin Community College Student Life, Food Pantry & Resources Program (Austin)
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Douglas Brown (Denton)|
Katie Blair (Richardson)
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement||John Poston (Waxahachie)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||ZeeShawn Wani (Houston)|
|Partners in Education||Fidelity Investments (Dallas-Fort Worth)|
|Service to Veterans||United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County’s Mission United (San Antonio)|
|Community Leadership||Katie Bourgeois (Austin)|
Rust Street Ministries (San Angelo)
Marissa Vogel (Austin)
|Corporate Community Impact||Team CITGO (Houston, Corpus Christi)|
|Higher Education Community Impact||The University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso)|
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Ron & Linda Aten (Abilene)|
Sara Lamog (San Angelo)
David Porter, IV (Austin)
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement||David Godwin (Houston)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||Micah Pinson (Shady Shores)|
|Partners in Education||Fort Bend Education Foundation (Sugar Land)|
|Service to Veterans||Tony Smith (Copperas Cove)|
|Community Leadership||Haven for Hope (San Antonio)|
|Corporate Community Impact||USAA (San Antonio)|
Granite Properties, Inc. (Houston, Dallas)
|Higher Education Community Impact||University of Houston SURE™ Program (Houston)|
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Erin Moody (Lockhart)|
Shelby Thomas (Houston)
Arlen & Mary Beth Lohse (San Angelo)
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement||Dennis Cavner (Austin)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||Taylor Thompson (Austin)|
|Partners in Education||Literacy First (Austin)|
|Service to Veterans||LaTronda Humphries, Healing Our Heroes Project (Pflugerville)|
|Community Leadership||Medical Center of the Americas Foundation (El Paso)|
Spring Branch Family Development Center (Spring Branch)
Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team (Bastrop)
|Corporate Community Impact||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Corps® (Statewide)|
Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano (Houston, Austin)
|Higher Education Community Impact||Texas Christian University Office for Community Engagement (Fort Worth)|
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Brenda Gormley (Denton)|
|Governor’s Lone Star Achievement||Will Williams (Round Rock)|
|First Lady’s Rising Star||Cullen Corr (Dallas)|
|Partners in Education||Teach for America – Rio Grande Valley (Rio Grande Valley)|
|Service to Veterans||Military Veteran Peer Network of Houston (Houston)|
|Community Leadership||Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (El Paso)|
|Corporate Community Impact||ExxonMobil Pro Bono Program (Houston)|
|Higher Education Community Impact||Texas A&M University, The Big Event (College Station)|
|National Service “Make a Difference”||Ed Boyer (Dallas and Collin Counties)|
JoAnn Gama (Weslaco)
OneStar is pleased to celebrate the incredible work of the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Award recipients.
Governor's Lone Star Achievement Award
First Lady’s Rising Star Award
First Lady’s Rising Star Award
Partners in Education Award
Service to Veterans Award (Individual)
Service to Veterans Award (Organization)
Higher Education Community Impact Award
Corporate Community Impact Award
Community Leadership Award (Individual)
Community Leadership Award
Community Leadership Award (Collaborative)
National Service “Make a Difference” Award