Awards and Recognition

2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom 

On February 15, 2011, Citizenship Counts Founder Gerda Weissmann Klein received the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor, given to those who contributed to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.





2011 Outstanding American by Choice (ABC Award) 

In January 2011, Gerda Weissmann Klein was presented with an Outstanding American by Choice award. The award was presented by Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Outstanding American by Choice recognition is presented to naturalized U.S. citizens who have demonstrated their commitment to this country through civic participation, professional achievement, responsible citizenship, and commitment to the shared ideals that unite us as Americans. Mrs. Klein was recognized for her work as a humanitarian, author, human rights activist, Holocaust survivor, and proud naturalized citizen. Mrs. Klein founded Citizenship Counts in 2008.



2019 Ellis Island Honors Society Beacon Award

In January 2019, Alyssa Cooper was presented with the Ellis Island Honors Society Beacon Award by Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Beacon Award aims to change the narrative about immigration and to show that immigrants and their children are vital to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our nation. Beacon Award honorees have excelled in their field and are considered influencers and innovators; those who have changed the way we perceive their industry or profession. Alysa was recognized for her 10+ years of dedication and contributions to Citizenship Counts, the organization she co-founded with Gerda Weissmann Klein.