At the end of each semester we recognize students that are “doing good.”
And whether they are actually do well in their classes doesn’t matter, because what we care about is that they are doing somethiong good for the community of Communications Technology (CT) majors.
Recognizing students that build community around their discipline of study isn’t something that a college usually does. Typically recognition goes to students with a high-level of academic accomplishment. They recevie the big awards. The big medals of honor and the cash-money checks that come with this recognition.
But it’s the student(s) that may not have the best GPA or the most creative contributions to the discipline that are actually making a difference at your school. They are the ones that work hard and hang out with everyone. They nurture the community.
So they may not get the big award but they deserve an award for helping all the outlying students to keep on dreaming. And by dream I mean they help students outside of class continue to learn – they run clubs, build group projects, or just make it fun to hang out in an academic way.
We give these students the “99¢ Award” which comes in the form of praise and a silly trinket we find in the local dollar store – a roll of puffy stickers, a porcelain figurine of smiling puppies, or a box of clever card tricks.
Though these little pieces of appreciation are ephemeral, we hope that they make a lasting impression. Because these students are the ones in which I place my “99¢ dreams.”