Youth Award Program

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award USA

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA helps make WVMA youth more competitive in the world.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award brings résumé-building clout to young people – on a global scale.

To date millions of young people (ages 14 to 24) from more than 130 countries have participated in the award program. With the U.S. now involved, the goal is to send that number even higher. WVMA will be working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA team to deliver this Youth Achievement Award and be set up as an official local award Unit.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a natural fit with the WVMA Youth programs, and we are proud to offer additional opportunities that develop and recognize the achievements of youth as the future leaders,” says Imtiaz Qureshi, the WVMA President.

How difficult to earn is the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA?

The award is challenging but flexible. Its requirements sufficiently stringent but attainable.

The award aligns with our WVMA Youth strategic plan. WVMA youth will already fulfill many requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA through school and their own extracurricular activities.

“Participants doing their award become world ready,” says Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. Young people will develop “resilience, leadership, teamwork abilities, problem-solving skills and confidence — all while having fun and engaging in their community.”

What are the requirements for the award?

The award is open to young people ages 14 to 24. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

  • Bronze: Age 14 to 24; six months minimum participation
  • Silver: Age 15 to 24; 12 months minimum participation
  • Gold: Age 16 to 24; 18 months minimum participation

When earning the award, young people are challenged over time with goals in four section activities:

  • Make a difference through community Service
    • Description: Volunteering in the community, demonstrating social responsibility
    • Examples: Visiting the elderly, coaching a sport or serving as a tutor
  • Engage in Physical Fitness
    • Description: Improving fitness, enjoying healthy lifestyles
    • Examples: Soccer, running, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding or dancing
  • Learn a new Skill
    • Description: Developing talents, increasing self-confidence
    • Examples: Learning to play an instrument, making a craft, fishing, directing a short film
  • Challenge themselves and others in a team-based Adventurous Journey
    • Description: Discovering a spirit of adventure, gaining a deeper understanding of the outdoors
    • Examples: Taking a hike, climbing a mountain, studying the natural world

There’s a fifth activity, for those seeking the Gold-level award only, that involves a Residential Project.

Examples of that include taking part in a historical re-enactment, building a new hiking trail, attending a conference as a youth representative and many more options.

What do participants receive?

In addition to the chance to engage with the world and better understand themselves, youth who earn their award at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels are awarded an international certificate of recognition and a medal for their achievements at local celebrations.

Gold-level participants also are celebrated at a national Gold ceremony hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA.

Why should a WVMA Youth strive to earn this award?

  1. It’s recognized worldwide with a globally-consistent framework, meaning award-holders have international standing.
  2. It enhances a young person’s résumé in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
  3. It’s fun to earn.

How can an adult support this process?

In the following ways:

  • Train as an Adult award leader at the WVMA. For a limited time only WVMA will pay the cost to have Adults trained and certified as an award leader so that you can mentor participating youth (typically, the cost of training is $200-$250 + travel costs).
  • Recruit new award participants. Young people who are interested participating in the award program can be referred to the WVMA Youth Committee to join the award program.


Please Click Here to Register interest and the WVMA Award Coordinator will be in touch.

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