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Iowa Character Awards

Let’s work together to bring attention to what makes Iowa great – our people! Our Character Awards highlight Iowa’s role models, and you can help make sure the deserving individuals/organizations in your life are recognized.

Your nomination makes a big impact! By submitting our quick and easy nomination form, you’re helping deserving Iowans receive meaningful recognition.

This year’s award recipients will be featured in a one-hour Iowa Character Awards prime-time special that will air in the summer or fall of 2024. Dates will be posted when announced.

Congratulations to our 2024 recipients!

Alan Steckman, Mason City – Citizen of Character

Carter Hammer, Sioux City – Citizen of Character

Shelby Griebat, Tipton – Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award

Katie Hoover, West Des Moines – Educator of Character

Dan Marburger (posthumously), Perry – Character Champion

Iowa League of Heroes, Cumming – Business of Character

Dallas Center-Grimes Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Student Organization of Character

Clear Creek Elementary, Clear Lake – School of Character

Dubuque – Community of Character

Elite Casino Resorts – Partner of the Year

Jean Berger, Dexter – Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award

Marta Codina, Des Moines – The Robert D and Billie Ray Pillar of Character Award
 
2024 Honorable Mention Recipients

Sherrlyn Hartle, Grimes – Citizen of Character

Jamie Smith, Dike – Citizen of Character 

Payton Kokke, Mitchellville – Citizen of Character 

Charley Warren, Mitchellville – Citizen of Character

Dr. Ryan Austin, Johnston – Educator of Character

Catie Brand, Pella – Educator of Character

Jen Lobeck, Madrid – Educator of Character 

Genesis Youth Foundation, Des Moines – Business of Character 

Special Thanks to Our Partners:

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Awards Process

Writing Your Nomination

Besides telling us who you’re nominating, you’ll answer three prompts:

    1. Introduce us to your nominee.
    2. How has the nominee impacted your life and/or the lives of others?
    3. In what ways do you feel the nominee demonstrates trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship?

      You’ll also be able to attach supporting materials, like letters of recommendation, newspaper articles, etc.

Nomination Tips

You don’t have to complete the form all at once. Create a username/password to save your nominations and return to it later.

Give examples. A successful nomination will include specific examples of the nominee showing good character.

Ask for help. You don’t have to complete the nomination alone. Ask the nominee’s friends, families, or co-workers for examples of the nominee’s good character. You can also attach letters of recommendation.

Who Can Be Nominated?

Individuals, organizations, and communities who have not received an Iowa Character Award in the last 5 years are eligible.

Previous nominees and Honorable Mention recipients are eligible.

Youth nominees should be between the ages of 10 -19 as of May 1, 2024.

Who Can Nominate?

Anyone can submit a nomination.  You can nominate family, friends, co-workers, and community members.  You can nominate your own school, organization, or company.

Recognition

Being recognized for good character is a big deal! We’ll make sure nominees and recipients are honored in meaningful ways.

All nominees will receive a formal certificate of recognition, and we’ll celebrate our award recipients in three ways.

  • Award recipients will receive their awards at the 2024 Iowa Character Awards dinner in August 2024.
  • Award recipients will be featured in a one-hour Iowa Character Awards prime-time special that will air summer/fall 2024.
  • Award recipients will be honored in their hometowns during a special event organized by The Ray Center.

Who Would You Like to Nominate?

Presented to individuals who consistently demonstrate good character.

Presented to individuals who consistently demonstrate good character.

This award is presented to an educator or administrator who impacts students by using innovative character education practices. 

The Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award is presented to an athletic team or athletic organization that consistently shows good character.  

This award is presented to a school or district that who impacts students by using innovative character education practices. 

This award is presented to a student organization that consistently shows good character.

Presented to a company or organization that demonstrates good character through their work. 

Get Started Today!

Nominations for 2024 are due on May 1.

Iowa Character Awards
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Iowa Character Awards have been presented since 2005.

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Award Categories

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Iowans make up the volunteer award selection committee. 

2023 Award Recipients

Doug Alberhasky, Iowa City
Citizen of Character Award
Doug Alberhasky, Citizen of Character
Salvador Montes-Clausen, Mason City
Citizen of Character Award
Salvador Montes-Clausen, Citizen of Character
Tom Braverman, Iowa City
Character Educator Award
Tom Braverman, Educator of Character
Iowa Women’s Basketball, Iowa City
Jim Hallihan Award
Iowa Women's Basketball, Jim Hallihan Award
Louisa-Muscatine CSD, Letts
School of Character
Louisa-Muscatine, School of Character
Louisa-Muscatine, School of Character
Nevada FFA, Nevada
Student Organization of Character
Nevada FFA, Student Organization of Character
Walter Roofing + Solar, Clive
Organization of Character
Walter Roofing + Solar

2023 Specialty Award Recipients

These awards are annually chosen by The Ray Center’s National Advisory Council and team.

Lisa Brinkmeyer VanDeventer (posthumously), Des Moines
Ray Pillar of Character Award
Lisa Brinkmeyer VanDeventer, Pillar of Character
Covenant Construction Services/CCS Homes
Partner of the Year
Covenant Construction Services, Partner
CCS Homes, Partner
Jay Byers, Des Moines
Character Champion Award 
Jay Byers, Character Champion
Grace McCunn, Ames
Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award
Grace McCunn, Eilerts

Past Award Recipients