1951. The medals were first awarded in 1922 for boys in Pennsylvania, and in 1925 for girls. The initial categories, or points, that boys were judged on were courage, scholarship, service, honor and leadership; girls were judged on courage, scholarship, service, character and companionship.
The School Award program became an official Legion youth activity in 1927. Today, the points boys and girls are judged on are the same: courage, scholarship, service, honor, leadership and patriotism. The current medal design, introduced in 1973, can be seen here.