Graduating Seniors Program
Several years ago, U.S. Figure Skating launched its Graduating Seniors Program to recognize the achievements of those individuals graduating from high school who continued their training in figure skating while pursuing their academic studies.
The purpose of this program is to honor and credit those qualified graduates for their achievements during high school through the presentation of a certificate to the skater during a school function or recognition opportunity. Recognition is proudly awarded on behalf of the U.S. Figure Skating Program Development Committee to those high school graduates who meet the necessary application criteria.
In the past, the Graduating Seniors Program was an opportunity only available to those skaters who had competed at the novice level or above in qualifying competitions. After experiencing low participant numbers, the Program Development Committee decided in the fall of 2010 to restructure the program and reintroduce it for the start 2011. The move helped open up this recognition opportunity to all levels of skaters and in turn awarded this distinction to nearly 250 graduating seniors during the 2010-11 season. The program continued to experience growth and awarded the distinction to over 480 graduating seniors during the 2011-12 season.
High school graduates who apply by March 1st and meet the required criteria are awarded certificates based on their highest skating achievements during high school as noted on their online application.
The program's structure features an online application, specific application criterion and an award program that is now divided into four level designations: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. The specific level designation is awarded to the applicant based upon their highest verified test achievement or competitive accomplishment according to the following measures:
In late spring, following the application review process, a congratulatory letter, award certificate and lapel pin (in corresponding level medal color) are sent to the applicant. The intent of this is to not only recognize the skater for their accomplishments in skating, but to also have the award materials presented to the skater in front of their peers during a school function or recognition opportunity such as senior award night, athletic awards banquet, special honors program or graduation ceremony.
The Graduating Seniors Program Award helps to bridge the gap from high school to college and gives skaters a sense of pride for what they have achieved throughout their high school career. Aside from the personal satisfaction and peer recognition stemming from being an awardee in the 2012 Graduating Seniors Program, many applicants also choose to list this accolade on their collegiate applications and resumes.
The feedback received from skaters, parents and figure skating clubs in regards to the program has been all positive.
2010-11 Gold Graduating Seniors Award recipients
2010-11 Silver Graduating Seniors Award recipients
2010-11 Bronze Graduating Seniors Award recipients