The Congressional Awards Program

Congressional Awards Program is a very unique and brilliant program where you lay out your goals and with the help of an advisor and validators you accomplish those objectives.

“The Congressional Award, a public-private partnership, established by Congress in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, is a non-competitive program open to young people ages 14-23, regardless of mental or physical challenges, or socioeconomic status. The Congressional Award Foundation teaches participants to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character, and foster community service, personal development, and citizenship.” (from Congressional Award: Congress’ Award for Youth)

Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace – on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals.

Colleges look at how you spend your time outside of class, and this is a way to quantify what you are doing, as well as stretch your abilities in other areas. It is an excellent method for students to assess themselves, and make decisions about where they might improve. It allows students to challenge themselves and have a way to measure their development. The Congressional Awards program offers the opportunity for distinction to students by giving them the ability to earn a bronze, silver and gold medal award.

Participation in this program involves you setting and achieving goals that are personally challenging, achievable, worthwhile, measurable, and fulfilling in the areas of:

  • Community Service
  • Personal Growth
  • Physical Fitness
  • Expedition/Exploration

You will need to find an advisor who can be encouraging and engaged and helpful in finding validators. It should be someone who you admire, and has the time to help you to find worthwhile goals and check in on your progress.

Please look at the website and see if it interests you, http://congressionalaward.org/program/.

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