Over the past couple decades, public schools and separate organizations in Montgomery County, Maryland have awarded African American and Hispanic students who display achievements in academics, leadership, and athletics. One of these awards was granted to an athlete who maintained a 2.5 grade point average (only .5 above the ineligibility GPA of 2.0); another was rewarded to an African American student for acquiring a GPA of 3.0. These awards clearly exclude other populations such as Asian Americans and Caucasians. How is it that the students of those ethnicities, who typically sit on the more successful end of the academic achievement gap, are not awarded for similar accomplishments? According to research, it is statistically more of a rarity for African-American and Hispanic students to attain equal levels of achievements when compared to Asians and Caucasians (NAEP Studies). Because such achievement remains uncommon with the students of these races, the accomplishments warrant reward, in the opinion of the organizations giving the awards. Organizations like Montgomery County's African American Festival of Academic Excellence claim that they seek to "encourage and assist African American students to strive for academic excellence" by presenting students with congratulatory certificates (AAFAE Online). However, it needs to be proven whether these awards do motivate African-American and Hispanic students to pursue more academic rigor or whether they set the bar low in a way that indicates that it would be too difficult for them to achieve more like their Asian and Caucasian counterparts. Furthermore, a study of the possible relationship between the awards and the achievement gap needs to be considered to evaluate the necessity and effectiveness of these awards in our school systems. Challenged by statistical and psychological theories, the validity of the awards and their ability to incite more motivation in African American students has proven, so far, to be ineffective.