The Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award Program was launched by NAGC in 1996 with a contribution by Reg and Maggie Green, of Bodega Bay, California, in honor of the memory of their seven-year-old son Nicholas, who was killed in a drive-by shooting while visiting Italy in 1994. The Greens donated the savings from their son’s college fund with a request that NAGC create a program to support the accomplishments of bright children who were approximately Nicholas’s age at the time of his death. With this lump sum contribution of $15,000 (and another $5,000 in 2005), NAGC created the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award Program , which recognizes the accomplishments of one child in each state, each year. These students must demonstrate excellence in visual or performing arts, academic achievement, or leadership. Early in the program, a national winner was also selected and recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Unfortunately, Funds for the program provided by the Green family and from early donors have been depleted. However, because many state gifted education associations find this program to be important and valuable, NAGC encourages each state association to support the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award Program fully and in a way that makes the most sense for the state. To support the legacy of recognizing distinguished students, begun by the Greens, NAGC will continue to issue a national letter of congratulations and an award certificate to each winner as directed by each state association. In addition, parents of each winner will receive complimentary parent membership in NAGC for one year. Student award winners will also be recognized on the NAGC website if photo and information are provided by the state.
Frequently Asked Questions about Changes to the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award
Q. How has NAGC’s role in the process changed?
NAGC: On September 1, 2012, the process for supporting the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award Program was changed to allow each NAGC state affiliate organization control the process. States that wish to participate will handle the application and selection process, funding (i.e., a U.S. Savings Bond), and the annual presentation of the award.
In the past, NAGC worked with approximately 38 states to recognize student winners. State leaders developed criteria and a selection process, and the student award was most often presented at the state affiliate conference. After September 2012, once a winner is selected by the state affiliate organization, NAGC may still be contacted by the state affiliate to produce a national award certificate and to create a letter of congratulations to the winner’s parents that includes a one-year NAGC parent membership. However, NAGC will no longer request or pay for a U.S. Savings Bond for the individual state award winners. If state awards in the future include Savings Bonds, the state associations will purchase the bonds themselves.
Q. Is funding still available from NAGC to support this award?
NAGC: Since September 1, 2012, no funding is available from NAGC to support the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award Program, although when requested by a state affiliate association, NAGC will provide a national award certificate and send a letter of congratulations to the winner’s parents that includes a one-year parent membership in NAGC. In addition, states that provide NAGC with information about their annual student winner will ensure that these winners are featured on the NAGC website on the state affiliate pages on an annual basis.
Q. Since financial support from the family of Nicholas Green has ended, should the Green family name still be used on the award?
NAGC: Decisions about how to handle the naming of the award is up to each state’s discretion. In states where the award has wide name recognition, it’s likely that the name of the award will not change. In other states, the Nicolas Green award identity has already been replaced by the state affiliate name (e.g., Colorado’s CAGT Distinguished Student Award). This decision is left to the discretion of each state.
How Can Students Apply for a state award
Many of NAGC's state associations participate in the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award program. First, check our Contact List to see if your state association participates in the program.
Yes, My State Participates
If your state association is continuing the awards program, use the contact information listed to obtain an application, release forms as well as the application deadline and any other requirements the state may have for the award.
Click any school year below to see the student award winners. (Photos are posted at the end of each school year. Please note that not all states have award winners each year.)