What is the United States Achievement Academy, and what are some of its accomplishments?
Established in 1978 by Dr. George Stevens, the United States Achievement Academy has since recognized over twenty-seven million outstanding young people throughout the United States for their academic and extra-curricular achievements. Each student recognized by the USAA is nominated by a teacher, counselor, coach or community leader as among the sponsor's top students.
In 1984, the United States Achievement Academy played a major role in the effort with its anti-drunk driving community service project conducted in over 35,000 schools throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The objective of the nation-wide campaign was to make more young people aware of the perils of driving under the influence of alcohol. Dr. George Stevens, USAA Executive Director, called the campaign a great success as thousands of schools participated by carrying the message to hundreds of thousands of young people. Dr. Stevens carried the campaign further when he flew to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1984 to help promote passage of the legislation directed to lowering the accident toll due to drunken driving. The USAA Executive Director was later honored when he was one of only twelve people invited to Washington on July 17, 1984, to participate in the signing by President Ronald Reagan of the bill to raise the drinking age nationally to 21.
In 1983, the United States Achievement Academy and the American Express Company began a unique travel/study program which proved to be highly successful. Hundreds of students and teachers took advantage of four different tours designed to examine the culture and geography of the countries visited. The most popular tour was the Grand Tour of seven European countries, with other tours. visiting the British highlands, Germany, and two other countries, and Spain.
When Executive Director Dr. George Stevens retired in 2001, a Founder's Award of $10,000 was established in his name.
Whatever its activities, the United States Achievement Academy bas made a significant impact during its existence and is looking forward to serving many deserving young Americans in the years ahead.
JULY 17, 1984, was a day to remember for Dr. George Stevens, founder and Executive Director of the United States Achievement Academy. For it was on this day that he and a small number of dignitaries gathered in the Rose Garden of the White House for the signing of a significant piece of legislation which will help curb the senseless death toll on the highways.
Dr. Stevens and several dozen others witnessed President Ronald Reagan sign H.R. 4616, an act to amend the surface transportation assistance act of 1982, thereby encouraging states to raise to 21 the minimum drinking age.
Months of lobbying had gone into the passage of the bill. The United States Achievement Academy played a major role in the effort with its anti-drunk driving community service project conducted in over 35,000 schools throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The United States Achievement Academy effort was in the form of an Anti Drunk Driving week aimed to prom time in the nation’s schools.
Dr. Stevens said, “It was our aim to reach the young people of this nation with the goal of helping to significantly cut down on debilitating accidents which occur as the result of teenagers drinking and driving. It then became our goal to aid Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and other organizations in the passage of H.R. 4616 which encourages the various states to raise the legal drinking age to 21.”
Candy Lightner, President of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, said in a letter to Dr. Stevens. “I cannot thank you enough for your involvement, and that of your organization and supporters, in the passage of America’s new federal minimum drinking age of 21 law. It is because of the hard work and dedication of people like you that this lifesaving legislation was signed into law.”
Dr. Stevens called the bill signing “an historic event which was the culmination of much effort on the part of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and others. I am pleased that we were able to contribute to the effort by placing the full force of the United States Achievement Academy behind this most meaningful attempt to curb deaths on the highways caused by drunk drivers.”
The USAA Executive Director added, “And personally, it was a great honor for us at the United States Achievement Academy to join a select few other organizations in supporting the 21 legislation. As one of the key supporters of the legislation, I was pleased to be present at the White House in the Rose Garden and witness the signing of this bill.”