Congratulations to Rebecca Goossens! She is the recipient of the 2021 WEM Outstanding Educator Award, an honor that is accompanied by a $15,000 award. She is one of two recipients of the Teacher Achievement Award.
MN BPA is proud to have her service as our Secretary for our Board Directors and is a terrific BPA chapter advisor at Triton HS!
by Jake Ackerman
We’re excited to inform you about one of BPA’s many opportunities for professionalism and leadership development: The Torch Awards Program. There are seven different torch categories (leadership; service; cooperation; knowledge; friendship; love, hope, and faith; patriotism) that encourage our members to participate at the local, regional, state, and national level; network both inside and outside of BPA; volunteer; and learn more about our organization. The work that goes into receiving a Torch Award will help increase your involvement in BPA outside of competitive events. This article will show you just how easy it is to receive a Torch Award and provide you with the resources to succeed and become more knowledgeable about this great program.
Torch Awards are given at four different levels: Executive, Diplomat, Statesman, and Ambassador. Executive Torch Awards require 10 points in each of the seven torch categories and are awarded at the local level, Diplomat Awards require 30 points in each category and are awarded at the regional level, Statesman Awards require 50 points in each and are awarded at the state level, and Ambassador Awards require 70 points in each and are awarded at the national level. At the State Leadership Conference, there will be a ceremony held for recipients of the Statesman Award and at the National Leadership Conference for Ambassador recipients.
Points are awarded in each of the seven torch categories in either 5, 10, 15, or 20 point increments. The Torch Awards Handbook contains a helpful list of all the possible ways to earn points. Familiarizing yourself with the handbook will help maximize your torch experience. It provides important information regarding how to login to the online torch system, enter activities for points, submit resumes, and use the Torch Awards Program App.
Working to earn Torch Awards is a way to increase your dedication to BPA. It will also foster personal growth by getting you outside of your comfort zone. However, your involvement doesn’t only benefit you; by participating in Torch, you are helping promote all of Minnesota BPA. The more Ambassador awards we receive as a state association, the more likely we are to win The Professional Cup at the National Leadership Conference. Let’s work together to better ourselves and Minnesota BPA!
Lastly, be sure to start your resume as soon as possible. Submitting your resume early will allow time for you to make revisions if your application is rejected. The deadline for the Statesman Award is February 6th and for the Ambassador Award is March 25th. Diplomat Award deadlines vary by region so be sure to ask your advisor.
We’ve attached additional resources in case you have any further questions regarding torch. Also, we’re currently putting together a torch presentation for chapters and regions to help inform their members on registration and building resumes. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about BPA’s Torch Award Program! We look forward to seeing you next month at the region conferences.