Six Mississippi Juvenile Offenders Earn Bronze Awards

Official Press Release

April 24, 2014

(JACKSON, Miss.)—Today, two young men were presented the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Award by DofE President
Emeritus Sam Haskell, Governor Phil Bryant and Mississippi Department of Human Services Executive Director Richard
Berry. The youth earned the awards while under the custody of the state at Oakley Youth Development Center outside of
Raymond. An additional five youth earned the award but were unable to attend the ceremony.

To earn a DofE Award, participants choose specific activities such as: Community Service, Special Skills, Physical Recreation
and Adventurous Journey, and with the help of an activity coach, dedicate themselves to achieving program success. The
Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards each require a successive degree of effort and determination over varying time periods.

In December 2012, Mississippi became the first state in the country to offer the program to young offenders and honored its
first OYDC student with a DofE Award in October 2013.

“The DofE Award allows young people from all backgrounds to be connected in a way that no other international youth
program can offer,” said Sam Haskell, Board President Emeritus of the USA Award. “Our program at Oakley is making a
difference and we are very thankful to Governor Bryant and Mr. Berry for their support.”

“This is a proud day for our state,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “Our goal is to build on Oakley’s success with the Duke of
Edinburgh’s Award program through expanding outreach to more at-risk youth, and to share these best practices with other
states across the country.”

The mission of DofE is “to encourage all youth ages 14-24 to be the change they want to see in the world by inspiring them to
grow and achieve.”

The DofE Award is one of the British Royal Family’s principal charities for youth. Founded in 1956 by the Queen’s husband,
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the DofE Award is a self-development, recognition program
available to youth ages 14 to 25. More than 8 million youth from more than 140 countries have earned their own Bronze, Silver
and Gold Awards. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA was launched in 2006 and currently operates in more
than 40 states reaching nearly 10,000 participants annually.


HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

March 12, 2014

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visit The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation and the Royal Commonwealth Society. They learnt more about how the two organisations are providing non-formal education programmes to young people worlStaff at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation (the Foundation) and The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) were visited by two very special guests on Wednesday March 12.

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the charities’ headquarters in London to learn more about how the organizations are providing non-formal education programs to empower young people in the Commonwealth and beyond.

A global Award

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in 1956; more than 8 million young people having completed their Award.

On HM’s first visit to the Foundation, The Queen had the opportunity to learn more about the Award and how the development of digital tools is enabling them to reach more young people from diverse backgrounds.

The Award online

During the visit, one lucky Award participant had their Gold Award signed off on the Online Record Book (ORB) by The Duke. The ORB is a new global digital platform, which replaces the paper Record Book, designed to help participants, leaders and assessors doing, delivering and assessing the Award.

Amanda Lawson, who has just completed her Gold Award, says taking part in the Award helped her to overcome many challenges. Having been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a child, Amanda was determined not to let her condition define her or her capabilities. “Participating in the Award has taken me out of my comfort zone. My boundaries were certainly pushed to their limits during a number of my challenges but I was determined to complete my Gold Award. Giving up was not an option.” Her success in completing her Gold is a testament to the adaptability of the Award framework and its accessibility to all, no matter their background or ability.

Reaching more young people

“The Foundation works to grow the Award worldwide and to increase the diversity of its participants, particularly reaching out to those who are often on the margins of society,” explains Secretary General of the Foundation John May. “Work that we are doing now will ensure that more young people have access to this tried and tested framework of non-formal education that has time and time again proven to transform the lives of individuals and their communities. This is all of course thanks to the vision of our patron.”

Major milestones

The visit to Award House formed part of a momentous week for The Queen and The Duke as their youngest son celebrated his 50th birthday on March 10th. Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, an Award holder himself, is a trustee of the Foundation and is actively involved in ensuring it is inclusive to all.

The Queen was also in attendance at the annual Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey on 10 March.

England’s Prince Edward to visit Nashville on May 23rd

May 1, 2013

HRH HeadshotThe Queen of England’s youngest son, His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, will visit Nashville on Thursday, May 23, 2013, to promote one of the Royal family’s principal charities for youth – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – founded in 1956 by the Queen’s husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an exciting self-development program available to all young people ages 14 to 25, equipping them with the confidence and skills for a better future.  Over 8 million young people from over 140 countries have taken part in the Award’s self-development, recognition program.

On May 23rd, Governor Bill Haslam and Mrs. Haslam will host Prince Edward at the Tennessee Residence for the inaugural Duke of Edinburgh’s Award ceremony in Tennessee, recognizing this year’s recipients of the prestigious DofE Award.  Recipients will come from the Award’s delivery partners in Nashville, including:  Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee; Boy Scouts of Middle Tennessee; Montgomery Bell Academy; LEAD Academy; and the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Organization.

Later that evening, Prince Edward will attend a black tie Royal gala to benefit The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  The gala will take place at Montgomery Bell Academy, which currently offers the DofE Award program to students.  Tennessee’s First Lady, Mrs. Crissy Haslam, is serving as Honorary Chair of the gala, and Nashville philanthropist Ellen Martin is Chairing the Royal affair.

Mayor Karl Dean and First Lady Anne Davis will attend The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award ceremony and the Royal gala and have vowed their support to promote The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award through the Mayor’s youth development initiatives with Nashville schools and partnering youth organizations.

“The Award program aims to develop one’s entire self, creating responsible and experienced citizens and encouraging selfless service to others,” said Josh Randle, the US Award’s National Executive Director.  “It’s about personal discovery and building character, and the life lessons learned give participants the confidence and skills to make a difference within themselves, their communities, and the world.”

To earn a Duke of Edinburgh Award, participants choose their own activities in the areas of community service, skills, fitness, and adventurous journey.  The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards each require a successive degree of effort and determination over varying time periods.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award allows young people from all backgrounds to be connected in a way that no other international youth program can offer,” said Sam Haskell, Board President of the US Award.

“Our programs in Nashville are already making a difference, and we are very excited to bring Prince Edward back to Nashville in support of this great cause.”

Prince Edward last visited Nashville in 2004 for the Antiques and Garden Show, where he lectured on the historic restoration project at Windsor Castle.

The US Award program was launched in 2007 and currently operates in 30 states and the District of Columbia with over 7,000 annual participants taking part.

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award please visit

For Gala ticket information call 202-534-1783.

DofE Launches New Outdoors Recipe App

May 30, 2012

Good news for aspiring outdoors Jamie Oliver types, with the news that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme charity is launching a handy iPhone app with a selection of recipes aimed at anyone cooking in the outdoors.

The app was put together in conjunction with Masterchef winner Mat Folias rather than Prince Philip, and includes 80 recipes which have been specially designed for outdoor cooking. They can be rustled up on anything from a simple camp stove to an open fire – mind that moorland guys – but what they all have in common is that they’re straightforward to prepare and cook and use ingredients that don’t require refridgeration.

Breakfast, Lunch And Tea…

The four-person recipes cover breakfast, lunch and tea options and the app helps with easy planning including the ability to collate the ingredients into a shopping list. And finally, says the outdoor youth charity, all the recipes have ‘easy-to-follow instructions for cooking in the field’.

Options include everything from  all-in-one-pan breakfast, chilli and basil burgers and campfire chips, to stroganoff, chickpea and feta fritters and apple and cinnamon porridge.  There are meals and snacks, meat or vegetarian options, and high energy food for those on long expeditions. Many use five ingredients or less and some take less than 10 minutes to prepare

Mat, who was the 2009 TV Masterchef winner says that he aied to provide ‘simple ways to liven up a meal whether it’s cooked over an open fire or portable ring burner’.

You don’t need to be a Duke of Edinburgh Award participant to use the app. It’s aimed at anyone heading outdoors with cooking on their agenda. It retails for less than the cost of a pint of beer at £1.99 and is available either direct from the Apple app store or from

We’re planning to give it a whirl and see how we get on.

6 Lincoln Hall Students Receive Bronze DofE Award at UN 

May 24, 2012

Read the full article here.

Ricky Flores/The Journal News

SOMERS — A graduation event was held Thursday to applaud 32 teens at Lincoln Hall who were leaving the residential school for troubled boys with a new sense of how to behave and plan their futures.

The boys wore dress slacks and sports jackets for the Transition Ceremony.

These are the same teens who came to Lincoln Hall from family courts facing charges from parole violations to drug possession and small thefts.

“Oh, I am proud. I’ve changed how I think of things,” said Nestor Torivio, 15, of Brooklyn after 18 months here.

Torivio was one of six who also received the first Duke of Edinburgh’s Award on Wednesday at the United Nations International School in New York City.

The international self-development program encourages teens to learn new skills, perform community service projects and develop recreational interests.

In recent years, incidents like large campus fights to crimes within the community have brought police intervention and greater local scrutiny of Lincoln Hall.

“There is a lot more communication and many improvements,” said Executive Director Jack Flavin.

For the first time, town officials attended the ceremony.

“There has been a lot of negativity about Lincoln Hall,” Police Chief Michael Driscoll said. “We are working together and have made a heck of a lot of progress.”

Oscar Pryce, 16, now wants to become an electrical technician.

“I had time to think about my future and the mistakes I made,” he said, explaining he spent seven months because of a parole violation on a charge of possessing stolen property.

Quinton Crandell, 16, of Brooklyn is leaving Lincoln Hall with new photography skills and he took lots of pictures of the ceremony.

“I had hung out with the wrong friends,” he said. “I am ready now to finish school.”



Duke of Edinburgh awardees recognized at campus luncheon

May 03, 2012         

Student-Volunteers, Duke of Edinburgh awardees recognized at campus luncheon Students earned awards and applause from campus leadership and community agencies at the annual Student Volunteer Luncheon held May 2 in Decker Forum.

The first group of students who completed a four-step self-development program received Bronze medals and certification as Duke of Edinburgh awardees. McDaniel is one of the first colleges in Maryland to embrace this program.

To date, over 800,000 students representing over 130 countries have enrolled in the program founded in 1956 by Britain’s Prince Philip.

Wright Out of the Blocks: I met a prince!

April 24, 2012

By Jennifer Wright, Science Leadership Academy

Not many people have the opportunity to meet a Prince in their  lifetime, but I can now say that I have. Thursday April 26th, I met HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessix during his visit to Philadelphia.

Prince Edward took over responsibility for The Duke of Edinburgh’s  Award Program from his father HRH Prince Phillip.

Relatively new to the U.S., it is called The Young American’s  Challenge. The award program is a challenge to young people age 15-26 to set  goals for themselves and accomplish new feats.The program now operates in 132  countries around the world.

I started my Bronze in sophomore year when wonderful Leslie  Kase, Managing Director for the Philadelphia region of the program, visited my  school. I am currently earning my Silver; almost finished!

Fortunately, Prince Edward planned a trip to visit  Philadelphia.

Held at The Downtown Club, about 300 people attended the  event. I brought my aunt, mom and granny. You can’t forget your  grandma.

Our group had the special opportunity to meet with him as  close to individually as possible. The 17 of us and many board members for the  program stood in a separate room and had the opportunity to have a meet and  greet.

There was no curtsying or even handshaking, surprisingly. He  would ask a question and anyone would have the chance to answer.

And take the chance I did! I was extremely nervous, but I  really wanted to say my over practiced, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Your Royal  Highness!” I spoke the slowest and clearest I ever have. I am an animated  speaker, the Italian hand-talking is my specialty. Being so nervous I lost all  my personality and went wide-eyed.

Not to say he was all that intimidating, he was very  pleasant. He smiled a lot and reminded me of a cool dad, with a posh British  accent of course.

Afterward, I rejoined my family as the Prince was crowded  around by people in the main room.

Three students from our group gathered the nerve to speak  about their experience in the program in front of the whole room. I admire their  tenacity because I was drained after 30 seconds of high-pressure conversing with  a Royal.

Another student from our group edited a slide show of photos  from the many activities we had done as a group that we presented to him  along with a drawn portrait of the Prince by another student.

I’ve never met anyone famous, so this was kind of a big deal  for the students in the group. I mean, he’s a prince, and we are high school  kids. That’s about as exciting as it could get.

I can just imagine what is still in store for the group  after this type of opportunity.

You can read more about the Award at



Two Miss JSUs Receive Duke of Edinburgh Award from Prince Edward

Some of Jacksonville State University’s royalty met some of England’s royal family on Saturday, April 28 as Whitney Curtis, Miss JSU 2011, and Beth Milam, Miss JSU 2012, received the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award medal at a garden party in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, youngest son of Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II, made the presentation personally, according to a press release from the Miss Alabama organization.

The women have been working for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the past two years. To qualify, they participated in a program that focuses on four points – Community Service, Special Skills, Physical Fitness, and Great Expeditions or Adventurous Journeys. Two organizations- the Miss America Pageant and the Boy Scouts of America- introduced the program to the United States. It is available to anyone ages 14 to 24 who desires to become a more well-rounded individual while learning to work as a team.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was introduced in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, to the United Kingdom. The award has over seven million recipients in 132 countries. The medals are awarded on three levels– the bronze, the silver and the gold– and each level of achievement can take anywhere from six months to several years to complete. The adventurous journey, which is the final step in the achievement process, can be anything from an camping retreat to crossing the Atlantic in a yacht.  To learn more about the award, visit

Also receiving their awards were Miss Alabama Courtney Porter, eight other state titleholders and 30 Miss Alabama contestants.

Photo: From left, Miss JSU 2012 Beth Milam and Miss JSU 2011 Whitney Curtis with their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. (courtesy- Whitney Curtis)


Local teens receive royal recognition

By KALA BOLTON/Special to the Reporter

Two Oak Mountain High School students and a Pelham High School student were rewarded by true royalty Saturday.

Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2012 Callie Walker, the 2011 winner, Mi’a Callens and Miss Tennessee Valley 2012 Hayley Barber were recognized by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, the youngest son of the Queen of England, at an afternoon garden party at a private Mountain Brook residence on April 28.

Callens, 18, Barber, 17, and Walker, 14, were awarded bronze medals for their accomplishments in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program. The award, which recently formed a partnership with the Miss America organization, promotes self-development through encouraging and recognizing youth participation and achievements in community service, physical fitness, special skills and an adventurous journey.

“Participating in Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen Program as well as the national program, you are already involved in community service and you have a talent, so you are exercising all the time,” Walker said. “Those are the qualities of this award program.”

Callens, Barber and Walker and a handful of other recipients were presented their medals by Gov. Robert Bentley and his wife, Dianne, while Prince Edward watched alongside Birmingham Mayor William Bell and 2012 Miss America Laura Kaeppeler.

“A lot of the girls already have platforms with Miss Alabama and the Miss America organization,” said Callens, who volunteers regularly with the Make-A-Wish foundation while Walker’s platform involves volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House. “For the bronze medal, you have to complete an overnight journey. We went to a local camping site here in Alabama. We hiked, played with horses, did some high and low ropes courses and even did a fun, outdoorsy Miss Alabama pageant, so that was really fun.”

Barber’s platform is “Sight for Small Eyes.” She partnered with the Pelham-based Sight Savers America, which works to assist children with low vision. “To see the prince, the governor and Miss America was like a dream come true, and it
certainly made all the hard work in earning the award worthwhile,” said Barber.

Since its inception in 1956, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been achieved by more than seven million youth, ages 14-25, in 132 countries. It is currently in its fourth year of operation in the United States.

“These girls are doing all this anyway,” said Anita Walker, Director of Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen pageant. “It’s incredible because I know how hard they work, and this is a wonderful award.”

Medals are awarded on three levels, and both Callens and Walker said they are shooting for silver and gold as they continue their work with both the Miss Alabama organization and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program.

“It has been a great experience,” Walker said. “I never thought that I would meet Miss America and Prince Edward all in one day. It’s going to be a great story to tell one day.”


Before they hit the stage, they must go to Miss Ohio camp

Miss Clayland Ashley Warholic, of Ontario, left, lends a hand to Miss Northwestern Samantha Hartings as Hartings steps over Miss Central Gabrielle Bailey. The team-building exercise was one of many Miss Ohio Scholarship Program contestants participated in this weekend at the Miss Ohio Forum in St. Louisville.

MANSFIELD — This past weekend, 25 contestants who will seek the Miss Ohio crown participated in a forum to learn all there is to know about Miss Ohio Week.

But if you were expecting lots of hair, makeup, heels and cocktail dresses, you would have had to do a double take, said Gloria Buwala, Miss Ohio board president.

The two-day, mandatory forum was at 4-H Camp Ohio Youth Education Center in St. Louisville, between Mount Vernon and Newark. The camp is nestled along the Rocky Fork stream in Licking County.

“The camp is off the beaten path,” Buwala said.

Along with getting all the information they need to compete at the scholarship program at the Renaissance Theatre in June, they experienced camp life, challenge courses and team exercises.

“We have rope climbing and more,” she said. “It goes on rain or shine.

“Not only does this give the girls a chance to get to know each other before Miss Ohio, it teaches them the benefits of working together as a team to accomplish their goals. It also gives them the requirements to achieve a bronze medal for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award — Young Americans Challenge,” she said.

In January 2009, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award — Young American’s Challenge was introduced to the Miss America Program.  First established in 1956 in the United Kingdom, the award was developed to provide youth with opportunities for self-discovery.

The award program operates in more than 132 countries.

The program rewards participants for commitment to community service, educational growth, team building and self-discovery.

Miss Ohio Ellen Bryan received the gold medal at Miss America this year, the first for Ohio, and one of only two awarded at the Miss America program, Buwala said.

Before contestants grace the Miss Ohio stage this June, they plan to participate in the annual community service day May 19 in Mansfield. This year they will help build homes for Richland County Habitat for Humanity.

Buwala said the contestants will meet at the United Way building, meet Mayor Tim Theaker and then head out to do some work.

This year’s Miss Ohio Scholarship Program will be the week of June 17. It includes Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen Program and the Miss Ohio Parade. A new Miss Ohio will be crowned June 23. Tickets are available online at,

The Mansfield Community Club will operate the parade, sponsored by StarTek.


Prince Edward Coming To Town To Meet People, Plant Trees, Be Regal

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, will be in Philadelphia from April 26-27 for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year, which is a real thing. Prince Edward is the chairman of the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association, a youth development program which operates in 132 countries and was launched in Philadelphia in 2009, and on his visit he will, “meet with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants from Girard College, Science Leadership Academy and Valley Forge Military Academy as well as students from suburban high schools participating on an independent basis.”

While not doing that, he will surely be doing very, very fancy things, but this sounds pretty cool: “At Girard, Prince Edward will plant a tree in honor of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee of 60 years as Queen. His great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, had planted a tree at Girard during his 1860 visit to Philadelphia.” Who knew we had royal trees? We sure didn’t.


Scouting helps save a life take Wren resident to another part of the world

by Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

WREN – John Fulwider spends his Saturday mornings helping out at First United Methodist Church’s Fishes and Loaves food pantry. He, like the other Boy Scouts of Aberdeen’s Troop 39, apply themselves to be better people, helping out their surrounding community and leaving parks they visit trash-free.

Following the 12 points of Boys Scout Law has molded Fulwider into a mature 14-year-old sophomore who picked up some life saving skills along the way.

“I was grading papers during break one day in May and heard a peculiar sound. As I looked up Amber [Herron] was bent over choking and John was performing the Heimlich. After the third or fourth thrust, the chicken was expelled from Amber’s throat. John even cleaned the mess from the floor,” said Leroy Gregg, biology teacher at Oak Hill Academy.

Herron, of Aberdeen, and Fulwider were already best friends at the end of the last school year before the experience.

“I didn’t really think about it much that it was my best friend choking and I wasn’t in shock. I went through the stages of the course, stayed calm and asked her if she was choking and asked if I could help with the Heimlich Maneuver. It wasn’t a big deal,” Fulwider said.

He has taken several first aid and emergency preparedness courses through the Boy Scouts and safe sitter classes that focus on CPR for infants and young children through the North Mississippi Medical Center. While part of the curriculum, Fulwider had planned to pursue a medical career years before joining the Boy Scouts.

“He came home from school one day in first grade and the words out of his mouth were, ‘I want to be a neurosurgeon,’ and he’s stuck with it eversince. I have no clue where that came from,” said his father, John Fulwider.

“I read a lot as a child and always thought policemen and firefighters were the heroes, but realized they need help too. I’m applying myself at school and my goal is to be a doctor at Bethesda Naval Hospital,” Fulwider said.

Worldly experience

Fulwider’s name was put into the running in 2008 for the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Rinkaby, Sweden. He was chosen as one of three to represent Mississippi for the southeast region of the United States to attend the jamboree, which happens once every four years at rotating locations globally. Fulwider was gone from July 25-Aug 7.

An average of 40,000 Boy Scouts from 157 nations attended the World Scout Jamboree.

“I learned a lot about how things are in the other scouts’ countries and learned everyone has a good bit of national pride toward their own countries just as we do here. There was no division on religion; we all tried to merge our beliefs together,” Fulwider said.

Kings and monarchs were attendance of the jamboree and Fulwider was one of seven Boy Scouts from the United States to receive the distinguished Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award was founded in 1956 by England’s Queen Elizabeth’s husband, HRH The Prince Phillip, who is the Duke of Edinburgh.

“There was a list of hundreds of challenges you could enrich yourself with so I chose reading, weightlifting and community service. Through lifting weights, I lost 30 and a half pounds in three months and read 32 books in six months as part of the challenge. It made me realize goals and makes you think of what you want to do,” Fulwider said.

The Swedish experience, in itself, was eye opening for Fulwider as how the country is so environmentally conscious. The country is a firm believer in recycling everything; even food waste is cultivated back into the soil.

The attitude people have about the environment – proactive or negligent – influences others’ actions.

John’s WSJ Troop number was 70209 and consisted of 36 Boy Scouts from the Southern Region of the Boy Scouts of America, which included Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“Boundaries are only in your mind and you can learn as much as you want if you apply yourself and go anywhere you want,” Fulwider said.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Philadelphia





Leslie Kase, Managing Director


Partnership Highlight:  The Doe Fund

For over 15 years, The Doe Fund has worked to develop innovative programs to empower formerly homeless and low-income individuals. Their award winning Ready, Willing & Able program was created in 1990, based on the premise that work works – inspired by the notion that helping the homeless is more than just a handout. Their program participants are paid an hourly wage for providing their valuable street cleaning services. With more than 3,000 graduates since the program’s inception, they know that a real opportunity is more effective than temporary assistance such as a hot meal or a bed to sleep in for a night. Since Ready, Willing & Able‘s inception, The Doe Fund’s programs have greatly expanded to include services for individuals with HIV and AIDS, a number of permanent affordable housing projects and a new criminal justice program.

The Doe Fund was founded in 1985 by George and Harriet McDonald.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has partnered with the Doe Fund to bring the Award program to formerly homeless young people to help them make a difference in themselves, their communities, and the world.  During HRH The Prince Edward’s visit to New York in June 2011, the US Award invited 10 Award participants from the Doe Fund to our black-tie gala to meet Prince Edward and celebrate this incredible partnership.  Here is the story of one of those young men: Damian Stapleton.

Currently working towards his Bronze Award through the Doe Fund in NYC, Elisse Etienne (P-Left) addressed the crowd of over 250 people at our gala.  He shared his riveting story of his mother’s abandonment at age 15, his turn to selling drugs, and how the Doe Fund and the Award are helping him live a better life.

Two of our guests that evening were so moved by Elisse’s words that they offered him a paid internship at Viacom MTV where he is learning hands-on skills in television production and social responsibility.  A special thanks to our friends at Viacom MTV for their tremendous gesture.

We applaud the Doe Fund for their tremendous work and are so pleased by this incredible partnership.

For more information on the Doe Fund, visit


Las Vegas Sun: Miss America 2012

By Robin Leach

January 13, 2012

Thanks to awards set up by the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Scanlan, 2012 Miss America Outstanding Teen Elizabeth Fechtel and 14 current contestants won Duke of Edinburgh Awards presented by Josh Randle, national executive director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s “Award Young Americans Challenge.”

The 14 winning contestants are from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.


Miss Maine wins bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award

By Avery Yale Kamila Staff Writer

January 14, 2012

Maine’s contestant in tonight’s Miss America pageant has already won an award in association with the competition. And it’s from royalty, to boot.

Julia Furtado, Miss Maine 2011, won the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award on Thursday night in Las Vegas during the pageant’s preliminary competition. The award is bestowed by Great Britain’s Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, and  honors excellence in community service, talent and physical fitness.

Created in 1956, the international award seeks to help young people reach their full potential. Last year, the charity formed a partnership with the Miss America Organization. This is the first year the pageant has handed out the award.

“She’s represented Maine very well,” said Miss Maine spokeswoman Audrey Findlen.

Furtado, 20, the daughter of Sherry and Edmund Furtado of Dayton, is an applied-science major at the University of New England and a graduate of Catherine McAuley High School in Portland. Her father is a Maine State Police trooper.

A vocalist, Furtado sang “Over the Rainbow” in the preliminary talent competition. Whether she gets to sing on live television tonight will depend on whether she makes it into the pageant’s top 10.

During tonight’s pageant, will which air live at 9 p.m. on ABC, Furtado will wear a MacDougal gown donated by Trisha’s in Topsham and a swimsuit donated by Kompliqué.

The pageant is being held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.


Lincoln Hall students set sights on royal award

Written by: Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy

SOMERS — Close to 25 students of Lincoln Hall — the residential school for troubled boys — have signed up to compete for a royal award from the Duke of Edinburgh.

Founded in 1956 in the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip — the Duke of Edinburgh, the international award challenges young people between the ages of 14 and 24 to achieve their personal best.

“The award is to encourage young people to be more well-rounded,” said Jack Flavin, Lincoln Hall’s executive director. “It instills confidence and self-worth in a non-threatening and fun atmosphere.”

The award is judged based on four criteria, each of which must be met, and includes community service, physical fitness, special skills, and adventurous journey.

Students can strive for bronze, silver or gold medals, depending on the amount of time they are willing to commit. A minimum of six months is required for the bronze medal.

The 454-acre campus in Lincolndale provides residential schooling for 120 at- risk students from throughout the state. The residents, ages 12 to 18, stay for an average of nine months, Flavin said.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award debuted in the United States in 2007. The international program is available in 132 countries around the world.

“So far, we have given out 3,500 awards in the U.S.,” said Josh Randle, the national executive director for the U.S. program called the Young Americans’ Challenge.

“This award aims to create good habits and helps produce constructive citizens by developing their entire selves,” Randle said.

The award program can be started at any local school or community center. Volunteer leaders supervise regular activities and oversee membership. Among organizations that have partnered up with the program are the Boy Scouts of America and the Miss America pageant .

“This is something that will help them in the future, whether they are applying to college or for a job,” Flavin said.

Prince Edward Visits T. Rowe Price

July 21, 2011

 HRH The Prince Edward KG GCVO visited T. Rowe Price today during his visit to Baltimore, Maryland.

US Founding Board Member and World Fellow of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Todd Ruppert (left), is the President of T. Rowe Price Global Investments headquartered in Baltimore.

Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Veronique Marzullo of T. Rowe Price, and Josh Randle, Executive Director of the US Award, also accompanied HRH.

T. Rowe Price is a corporate sponsor for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Star-Studded Royal Gala Benefits the US Duke of Edinburgh Award

Daily Mail, United Kingdom

Posing with the Prince: Kirstie Alley had her photo taken with actress Lucie Arnaz, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Taxi actress Marilu Henner, actor Jacob Clemente, actress Liz Pearce and Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick at the New York Gala Event supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Read more:

Prince Edward Welcomed to Washington

June 21, 2011

White House Correspondents – Insider

Photo: HRH The Prince Edward with Elizabeth and Rep. Dennis Kucinich

It isn’t every day that a member of the British royal family walks the halls of the US Capitol.

Washington welcomed HRH Prince EdwardEarl of Wessex, with a reception Monday evening by honorary co-hosts Sen. Roger WickerSen. Mary LandrieuSen. Kay Hagan, and Sen. Thad Cochran. The Queen’s youngest son is the international champion of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a program founded by his father, Prince Phillip, more than fifty years ago. The award is designed to encourage youth around the world between the ages of 14 and 25 with character and self-esteem development through volunteering and physical challenges.

“We hear a lot about young people going wrong and very rarely do we actually give credit to the vast majority of young people want to go right. And here’s just one program that does that,” said Prince Edward. “At the end of [the program] they get recognized for their achievements and that’s a mark that will then hopefully open doors for them wherever they go.”

The program is now in 132 countries and has helped more than 800,000 youth become leaders in their communities. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Young Americans’ Challenge was founded in the US in 2007, and is currently in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Josh Randle, the President and Executive Director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the US, explains: “To earn a bronze, silver or gold award, participants spend approximately 1 hour each week on each activity, culminating with the adventurous journey component. The award is non-competitive, it’s non-academic but rather it aims to develop one’s entire self, creating responsible and experienced citizens and encouraging selfless service to others.”

Prince Edward is traveling to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York City to share the program’s mission, and to encourage and develop support from additional states, as well as other local and national youth programs, universities, and businesses.

“I’m proud to say that my state of Mississippi is among one of the 21 states to have embraced the award,” said Sen. Roger Wicker. “The award has achieved excellent momentum since it was launched four years ago here in the United States. I’m very excited about the work that has been done and the work that is to come.”

Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan is starting to work towards her own Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. In traveling the country and talking to young people she hears time again the biggest issue facing teens today is peer pressure.

“I think that says something huge. Why is peer pressure an issue? Because they don’t have the self-confidence to stand up to it. And how do we develop that self-confidence so they do have that and they’re able to stand up against peer pressure? By giving them opportunities for self-improvement. To have that sense of accomplishment that many people don’t get until they’re much older. And that’s what this program is all about, that’s what the Miss America Organization is all about: earning that sense of accomplishment.”

Attending the royal reception were Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – US Board Members Sam Haskell and Lanny Griffith; British Ambassador Nigel SheinwaldRep. Dennis Kucinich and wife, ElizabethGreta Van Susteren and John Coale; POLITICO’S Roger Simon and Marcia KramerEllie Schafer, White House Visitor’s Office; Nathan Naylor, Veterans Affairs; AP’s Kimberly DozierJuleanna GloverEd Henry; and Michael & Meryl Chertoff.

HRH The Prince Edward and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan visit Capitol Hill

June 20, 2011

Prince Edward, center, shares a laugh with Duke of Edinburgh’s US Award President Sam Haskell, left, and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, right, during a reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 20, 2011.
Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Ben Lacy receives Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

June 23, 2011

By Judy Korn

Photo from left: His Royal Highness Prince Edward Earl of Wessex, Josh Randle, Duke of Edinburgh Young American’s Challenge Executive Director, and Ben Lacy

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Capital Area Council in Washington, D.C., has announced that University of Minnesota, Morris alumnus Ben Lacy ’09 is one of two Scouts to receive the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Young Americans’ Challenge, the first time awarded in the United States. The award is given through a Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards national partnership with the BSA.

Lacy received his award with fellow Scout Matt Merighi. The young men were honored at a Capitol Hill reception attended by the Duke of Edinburgh’s son, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

Founded in 1956 by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Edinburgh Award was designed with the mission to positively influence the lives of youth. The award is dedicated to achievement through its four objectives: community service, physical fitness, special skills, and adventurous journey. Youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 25 are eligible.

“The partnership between the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Scouting is a natural fit, and granting this award for the first time marks what will surely be a long and successful partnership,” said Josh Randle, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award executive director. “These young men have worked hard to demonstrate their commitment to achievement and leadership.”

Merighi (24) and Lacy (23) are both Eagle Scouts with a long-standing history in civic service. The pair worked separately in lockstep on the award, beginning the challenge with the intent of reconnecting with their passions for the outdoors and getting involved in their local community.

“Matt and Ben have both proved to be exemplary citizens and Scouts,” said Les Baroo, Scout executive. “Their initiative, dedication, and achievement are commendable and deserving of such a high honor. These young men add to the distinction of our council by being the first two to achieve this award through Scouting in the United States.”

The Award is available in three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Lacy and Merighi have been honored at the Bronze level. In fulfillment of the requirements, the two added to their daily exercise regimen, tried their hands at broomball, volunteered for various youth programs throughout the council, and planned a large-scale campout. For Lacy, this award holds a meaning of patriotism to two nations, as he holds dual citizenship in the United States and Bermuda, which is a British sovereign country.

“Earning this award has brought a great deal of enrichment to my daily life and provided an opportunity for me to become more involved in my community” said Lacy, a professional Scout. “I am honored to receive this distinction, and I have been working toward this day since the award requirements were released. Mati and I only wish the award was available earlier, so we had time to achieve the gold level.”

Lacy, a native of Stillwater, earned a bachelor of arts in political science at the University of Minnesota, Morris. “I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Paula O’loughlin and many other faculty members for their encouragement through my time at Morris,” he states. “If it were not for their faith in me, and encouragement to move to D.C., for an internship, I would have never been in this position. Morris offers a lot of unique experiences to its students.”

Prince Edward presents city’s youth a Royal challenge

HRH The Prince Edward Visits Baltimore to Announce Self Development Program to Local At-Risk Youth

June 21, 2011

By Erica Green, The Baltimore Sun

Photo – Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun

At-risk youth in Baltimore city will have an opportunity to join an international network of young people in taking on a royal challenge to improve their lives by participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-Young American’s Challenge.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and seventh in line to the British throne, visited Tuesday with students of the Living Classrooms Foundation to announce that Baltimore would join 132 countries, and 20 states and Washington, D.C., in the program.

The prince, joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, spent more than an hour touring the Fells Point campus, engaging in a conversation with nearly every student and instructor he encountered.

The prince didn’t wince when greeted with a “Good morning” rather than the customary salutation “Your Royal Highness.” Neither curtsies nor bows appeared either.

Prince Edward said in later remarks — he did not take questions from reporters, and rejected any submitted beforehand about the wedding of his nephew Prince William — that he was particularly impressed by how close-knit Baltimore was, and that it was an environment the Duke of Edinburgh’s challenge could thrive in.

DofE USA Hires Inaugural Executive Director

August 1, 2010

Founded in 1956 in the UK by the Queen of England’s husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the International Award is a character building and self-development program for youth ages 14 to 25. Boasting operations in over 132 countries across the globe, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is one on the most prestigious and respected youth development organizations in the world. Her Majesty The Queen’s youngest son, HRH The Prince Edward, now heads the international operations of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Since 2007 The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program has perpetuated operations in the US and currently operates in over 20 states across the country, enjoying thousands of participants annually. The Award recently opened its national office two blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C.

Born and raised in Amory, Mississippi, Executive Director Josh Randle sits at the helm of the US Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program. Randle is a recent Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, where he was inducted into the university’s prestigious Hall of Fame. Previously, Randle worked in the Government Affairs division at BGR Group, one of the nation’s leading lobbying firms.

“The addition of our new National Executive Director, Josh Randle, to our organization has breathed new life and vigor into the US Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. He’s an outstanding young man with brilliant ideas. He has helped me expand our Award Program through our associations with the Miss America Organization and the Boy Scouts of America. Under Josh’s supervision, our expansion efforts are shining brightly,” said Sam Haskell, President of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award YAC.

With the help of Randle’s leadership, the US Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has formed incredible partnerships with the Boy Scouts of America, the Miss America Organization, the Salvation Army and the Angel Rock Project, founded by actor/comedian Chris Rock’s wife, Malaak Compton-Rock.

“We are thrilled by the new collaboration between the Boy Scouts of America and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award,” said Alf Tuggle, assistant Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “The aligned interests and shared goals between the two organizations create an incredible momentum to serve our nation’s young people. The BSA looks forward to a long and engaging history with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Executive Director Josh Randle.”

The Award is a co-ed program that transcends social status and poverty lines. A firm believer in the Award’s potential for the United States, Josh Randle explains:

“In the 1980’s, Prince Edward brought the Award program into England’s juvenile delinquency rehabilitation centers. Before the Award program was implemented, nearly 100 percent of the at-risk youth in these delinquency centers became repeat offenders of the crimes they committed. After the Award program came to them, an astounding 90 percent of those youth were not repeat offenders. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a proven and trusted self-development program, and my goal is to make the Award available to every youth in America, especially our at-risk youth.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to positively influencing the lives of America’s youth. For more information on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or how to get involved, please visit or call the national office at 202-534-1783.