Billy Michal Student Leadership Award

The Billy Michal Student Leadership Award is presented annually to one student from each state and the District of Columbia who embodies the American spirit in his or her community. The values of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, creativity, and perseverance can and should be learned and lived by all Americans, regardless of age.

When six-year-old Billy Michal from Zimmerman, Louisiana, helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap metal collection contest during World War II, he understood that every citizen—no matter how small—could contribute to our victory in the war. His example, and the actions of millions of other students on the Home Front, reminds us that service to country and community helps create active, engaged citizens. Through this award, The National WWII Museum promotes these values to students nationwide and honors those who exemplify them.

The 51 selected student leadership award winners will travel to New Orleans on May 23–26, 2024, along with a parent or chaperone, all expenses paid, to attend the 2024 American Spirit Awards, where they will represent their state at the event. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in leadership activities, explore New Orleans, and receive exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Museum.

Nominations for the 2024 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award will open October 18, 2023, and close January 29, 2024.

To nominate a student please visit the application linked below. Applications will be open from October 18, 2023, and close January 29, 2024.

Student Nomination Application

Nomination criteria:

  • Nominees must be in grades 8–12.
  • Only individual students can be nominated, not groups.
  • Students cannot be nominated by a family member.
  • Students may be in public, private, parochial, or home school in the United States.
  • Nominations must be submitted through the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award webpage by January 29, 2024.

Awardees will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to making a positive contribution to their school, community, country, and/or the world. Only fully completed nominations will be eligible for consideration. Once nominated, students will be contacted via email to complete a student application.