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Each year, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service honor ordinary individuals who are making an extraordinary difference. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, and Sam Beard co-founded the Jefferson Awards in 1972 with the desire to create a Nobel Prize for public service. The awards are built on one powerful idea: one person can make a difference.

The Jefferson Awards honor unsung heroes who strive to serve their communities. Winners are selected on both a national and local level; national winners have included Barbara Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor, Lance Armstrong and Colin Powell. Local winners are grassroots and are chosen by media partners across the country. These winners are honored for their contribution to increasing public service and upholding America’s commitment to civic engagement.

Russ Ewell became a Jefferson Award recipient in recognition for his work with E-Soccer and his contribution to the community. E-Soccer is a free inclusive sports program for both typical children and children with special needs. Ewell founded the program with just five kids in 2000 and it now serves over 250 children every Saturday morning in 5 locations throughout the Bay Area.

After being recognized with the Jefferson Award, Russ Ewell also received a Congressional Citation from Congressman Tom Lantos for community volunteerism. Ewell’s desire to serve the community has also spread overseas, with E-Soccer programs now running in Nairobi, Kenya and Bangalore, India. He believes one person can make a difference, and his belief inspires E-Soccer coaches around the world to believe the same thing.