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Want to nominate someone who has made a difference in our community throughout the pandemic? Now is your chance!

While the global pandemic is still current, we are in a different place than the past two years: we have adequate PPE supply, testing and vaccine readily available, and hospitalizations and deaths are down from the onset of COVID-19. These past two years stand out as a time when our Howard County community stepped up in ways that exemplified immense care, devotion, and love for our fellow neighbors and family.

Rise to the Challenge Awards

This is a time to pause and celebrate the collective achievement of managing a pandemic locally and to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, sacrificing their time, treasure, and talent for the good of our community.

We are looking for nominations for the Howard County community, workforce and residents that have gone above and beyond to serve during this time of need. Please take time to give the gift of recognition by nominating coworkers, friends, leaders, or neighbors who have made a tremendous impact.

Application Information

Requirements

  • Nominee must be a Howard County resident or employed in Howard County
  • Nominee must have provided service between March 2020 and present
  • Nominations must align with a category

Application Process

The nomination period will be open through July 29th at 11:59 PM and submissions can be made using our online form.

For those without online access, the application form may be printed and dropped off at:

If you have any questions regarding the application or categories, you can email [email protected].

Award Categories
Title
1. Public and Local Government Sector
Content

Public Heath Hero Award
This category will accept nominations of public health personnel who worked tirelessly to educate and inform the community and developed responses to the pandemic.

County Crusader Award
Recognizing County employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty since the beginning of 2020 to keep us safe and informed.

Public Service Hero Award
This category will accept nominations of front-line police officers, sheriff deputies, firefighters, park rangers, and other public service workers for their heroic work since the beginning of 2020 to keep us safe.

Title
2. Health Care
Content

Frontline Medical Response Award
This category will accept nominations of doctors, nurses, emergency medical responders, and other frontline medical personnel for their heroic work since the beginning of 2020 to aid the infected and save lives.

Healthcare Hero Award
This category will accept nominations of researchers, pharmacists, lab technicians, dietary staff, custodians and other non-patient facing medical personnel for their heroic work since the beginning of 2020 to aid the infected and save lives.

Senior Care Service Award
This category will accept nominations of nurses, paraprofessionals, aides, rehabilitation specialists and others who cared for the elderly during the pandemic.

Behavioral Health Support Award
Honoring counselors, social workers, therapists, psychologists and others who provided essential behavioral health care during the pandemic.

Title
3. Nonprofits
Content

Service Award
This category will accept nominations of exemplary pandemic-specific responses by a non-profit organization that served their communities during this time. Please provide examples of the community service the non-profit engaged in within your write up.

Nonprofit Innovation Award
This category will accept nominations for a pandemic-related innovative idea which provided beneficial results to the non-profit’s families or the community at large.

Stand-out Representative Award
This category will accept nominations for individuals who represented their non-profit in connecting with both the County and other community groups to work best together as they responded to the pandemic. This individual brought partnerships together to better serve the Howard County Community at large during the pandemic.

Title
4. Businesses
Content

Business Perseverance Award
This category will accept nominations of exemplary responses by companies to the pandemic to ensure the well-being of their employees, customers and communities and adapt to changing conditions.

Business Innovation Award
This category will accept nominations of pandemic-related innovative ideas developed since the beginning of 2020 that assisted the business in its operations and/or benefitted the community.

Customer Commitment Award
This category will accept nominations of local retail and food service businesses for their heroic work since the beginning of 2020 to keep us safely supplied and fed.

Title
5. Individuals
Content

Community Champion Award
Recognizes an outstanding individual(s) who have provided grassroots advocacy, leadership and innovation to strengthen neighborhoods and initiatives in response to COVID-19.

Essential Worker Award
This category will accept nominations for an individual or team working in an essential capacity in the private sector for their heroic work since the beginning of COVID-19.

Education Hero Award
This category will accept nominations of teachers, school administrators, and staff in education – as either individuals or teams - for their extra efforts to keep the school community safe and students engaged, and educated during the pandemic.

Early Childhood Care Award
This category will recognize those who work in early childhood care, and who preserved to continue to provide services to our youngest residents during the pandemic, offering continuity of care and education and fostering a climate so that development could continue.

Excellence in Remote or Hybrid Instruction Award
This category will accept nominations for an individual or team who made technological changes to successfully transform educational offerings into engaging and accessible remote or hybrid teaching platforms.

Data Hero Award
This category will accept nominations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who have kept you informed and provided transparent and meaningful data and analysis about COVID-19. Including but not limited to cases, hospitalizations, deaths, testing, vaccinations, and more, to the public since the beginning of the pandemic.

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