Good Citizen Day

In 1946, the Union League established the Youth Work Committee to demonstrate its motto, “Love of Country Leads,” and to motivate high school juniors to set high personal standards of behavior and leadership as they mature into responsible citizens. In 1971, Youth Work was formalized by the creation of a trust known today as The Youth Work Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia. The Youth Work Committee, comprised of a group of Union League members, continues as the Foundation’s program arm.

Each year, The Youth Work Committee partners with approximately 50 youth-serving organizations (‘Agencies’) from across the Greater Philadelphia region. These agencies collectively nominate 250 to 300 young men and women to receive the Union League’s Good Citizenship Award. The students are chosen without regard to race, color, creed, gender or political background, but must have demonstrated marked evidence of good citizenship.


In May, the Youth Work Foundation hosts its annual Good Citizen Day at the Union League of Philadelphia to celebrate and honor the selected students. The Good Citizen Day program features a morning of presentations and workshops focused on the aspects of good citizenship. The afternoon includes special, off-site programs at the Philadelphia’s City Hall. Students get an opportunity to explore the different branches of government and their respective roles and responsibilities. The highlight of the day for many is the Award Banquet, which is attended by many Union League members and special guests. The Good Citizenship Award has been presented to more than 17,000 students, many of whom have become leaders in their chosen business or profession.

Good Citizen Family Appreciation Day

Every fall, the Youth Work Committee and the Abraham Lincoln Foundation partner to host Good Citizen Family Appreciation Day. Both Foundations sponsor this event to show appreciation for the families who helped shape the fine young citizens who received the Union League’s Good Citizenship Award. During the event attendees:

  • tour the Union League building with volunteer docents

  • view one-of-a-kind artifacts from the Abraham Lincoln

  • Foundation’s historic collections

  • enjoy light refreshments

  • see photographs and video from Good Citizen Day

  • meet other Good Citizenship Awardees and their families from across the Greater Philadelphia region

  • talk with Union League members who support the Youth Work program

  • learn about other Union League opportunities, such as the Scholarship Foundation program.

This year's Family Appreciation Day will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2016. 

For more information, e-mail

Liberty Weekend

The most recent Liberty Weekend program took place on January 5-7, 2017. This program, held by The Youth Work and Scholarship Foundations, is a three-day educational program to explore the ideas of freedom and free enterprise. Students participated in discussions regarding democracy, individual rights, economics and U.S. law. To see highlights from our program earlier this year - click here.

Spirit of America

Since 1994, the Youth Work Foundation has awarded scholarships to Good Citizen awardees to attend the Spirit of America conference. The Spirit of America program is a freedom and leadership youth conference that continues the citizenship education of Good Citizen Day The current year’s Good Citizen Awardees are invited to apply to be a part of this three-day event held at the Valley Forge campus of the Freedoms Foundation.

Students who are selected for this program gain additional insights into the freedoms they enjoy as U.S. American  and the responsibilities they bear as citizens. Please visit for more information about the program. Good Citizenship Awardees receive the applications for Spirit of American in December, via e-mail.

There is an application for each Liberty Weekend and Spirit of America.

  • Application for Liberty Weekend will be released at the end of the summer.  The application is due back to the Foundations office by Monday, December 11, 2017.

  • For Spirit of America, the application will be released in November.  The application is due back to the Foundations office by Friday, January 19, 2018.

  • If you do not receive the application, contact us via e-mail,