Peter Sacco honored with D.C. Government Service Star.
By James Irwin
Peter Sacco, a senior in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences who serves on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and Serve DC (the D.C. Commission on National and Community Service), received the District of Columbia Government Service Star on Tuesday at the 2014 Mayor’s Community Service Awards.
The chair of the George Washington University Public Service Grant Commission and the Student Association’s vice president for community affairs, Mr. Sacco was one of eight people or organizations honored by the mayor’s office. The Mayor’s Community Service Awards are given to District residents who demonstrate exceptional commitment to D.C. communities through service and volunteerism. The Government Service Star recognizes service connected to a government agency.
“It’s an exciting time in the District,” said Jeffrey Richardson, executive director of Serve DC. “We just released this past year the D.C. Civic Health Index, and one thing is very clear: community service, volunteerism and civic engagement is at an all-time high across our city. Folks are finding formal and informal ways to volunteer in ways that leverage their skills, time and talent to address issues and challenges within our communities.”
Mr. Sacco, elected to the ANC in November 2012, is the former student coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service’s annual Freshman Day of Service. He began his service work at GW by volunteering with nonprofit organizations during his freshman year before branching into civic engagement efforts through Serve DC and the ANC.
“I think over the course of that first year I worked with about 20—I wanted to find one or two I could stay with and volunteer more frequently with,” he said. “In my sophomore year, two friends of mine told me they were running for ANC 2A, and the district I was living in didn’t have anyone running for it. That sort of launched my D.C. government service.”
Mr. Sacco, who will graduate from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in May, was elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in November 2012.
In addition to his roles on Serve DC and the ANC, Mr. Sacco is a DC Reads tutor and still volunteers with Calvary Women's Services, a women’s shelter in Anacostia he started working with four years ago.
Volunteer work is an important part of the GW culture, he said after the event, which featured remarks from Mayor Vincent Gray, B.S. ’64.
“GW has a big commitment to the D.C. community,” Mr. Sacco said. “Students come here with this instinct that they want to do community service. And civic engagement and community service go hand-in-hand together very well.”
He said he would look to work in the public sphere after he graduates in May, either for the government or a nonprofit organization in the area.
“Peter is deeply dedicated to community service and community engagement,” said Mr. Richardson, who works with Mr. Sacco on the D.C. Commission on National and Community Service. “Through his work with Serve DC and the ANC and GW, he has really connected himself to the District of Columbia community.”