ACCET’s Second Annual 2018 
Tom Tillia Community Service Award

Winner & Honorable Mention

Winner – First Institute
(Crystal Lake, Illinois)

Founded in 1982 and ACCET accredited since 1989, First Institute has honored its mission statement by working in the local community and designing quality occupational specific training.  While this represents what we do, it does not tell the entire story.  What started as a few employees participating in extra-curricular events such as a community clean-up and a 4th of July parade has now blossomed into enthusiastic participation in over 15 service events that incorporate the involvement of our students and their families as well as faculty/staff members and their families.  Some examples of First Institute’s ongoing community participation include:
  • An annual presence in the July 4th parade with over 20 participants each year (and growing)
  • Earth Day Community Clean up
    • (Having won prizes for the largest corporate participation in 2015, 2017 and 2018).
  • Heartland Blood Drive
  • Kidney Mobile for Diabetes Testing
  • Holiday Food Drive
  • Special Olympics/Crystal Lake Police Fundraiser
  • Cop on a Roof Fundraiser
  • Pioneer Center (local day programs for those with disabilities)
  • Crystal Lake Rotary
  • Be The Match Bone Marrow Foundation
  • CARE Center (Sexual Assault Crisis Center)
We realize our success is firmly grounded in our ability to participate in the communities we serve.  We continue to work with our employer partners, students and faculty to be sure we give back.
 First Institute takes pride in being the small organization that participates in a big way!


Runner Up – EF International Language Campus, Santa Barbara
(Santa Barbara, California)


EF’s mission is to open the world through education!  EF Santa Barbara has a heavy focus on out-of-classroom education and environmental awareness to connect the school and the students to the local community.  This model enhances the student experience by feeling part of something larger – which extends to a global scale when students bring this message back with them to their home countries. 
One of our most successful events is the annual EF Santa Barbara beach cleanup.  Each year, EF Santa Barbara teams up with Heal the Ocean, a local non-profit organization, to create “Every Day is Earth Day.”   Over 300 international students, staff, and teachers clean up ten different  beaches simultaneously – one of the largest local beach cleanups in the Santa Barbara (central California) region!
EF Santa Barbara is also excited to announce that EF San Diego and EF Honolulu will be participating in a coordinated coastal cleanup, joining the EF Santa Barbara piloted program of Ocean Awareness & Environmental Campaign: “Every Day is Earth Day.”   On April 12, 2019, EF Santa Barbara will be holding its fourth annual beach cleanup, and EF San Diego and EF Honolulu will be conducting their very first cleanup with their local communities and environmental organizations on the same day. 
It is EF Santa Barbara’s goal to implement this program in other EF locations around the world!