WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) introduced the Congressional Awards Act which seeks to reauthorize the Congressional Award program, the highest honor for our nation’s youth ages 14 to 23. This program is authorized by Congress every five years. It is a non-competitive program that has encouraged young Americans to unleash their potential by achieving personal goals focused on volunteerism, character, development, and fitness.
“Just this month I met with a Congressional Award Gold Medalist from Robert who completed over 400 hours of community service to win this award,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Congressional Award has inspired thousands of young Americans to pay it forward to their communities. We are proud to continue in this tradition.”
“Started by Wyoming Senator Malcolm Wallop in 1979, and championed for decades by my friend Senator Mike Enzi and his wife Diana, Congressional Awards holds a very special place in my heart and so many others’ across the Cowboy State,” said Senator Lummis. “Congressional Awards has inspired countless young Americans, including hundreds in Wyoming, to better their community and themselves. Watching the next generation of leaders form through this program has given me great assurance that Wyoming and our country will be in good hands.”
“Since its founding, the Congressional Award has sought to encourage and celebrate thousands of young Americans to work hard to better themselves and give back to their communities,” said Senator Manchin. “I am thrilled to work with Senator Lummis to introduce this bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Congressional Award Act and ensure we can continue to inspire generations of young people to public service. I urge colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation.”
- To achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Congressional Award Certificate or Medal, each participant sets and achieves challenging goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.
- Medals are presented by members of the House and Senate throughout the year, with the Gold Medal Ceremony/Summit taking place each June at a Ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.
- The Congressional Award is a public/private partnership.
- Although created by Congress, the Congressional Award program is funded entirely through private-sector donations.
- This program remains one of the most cost-effective programs available that takes no federal tax dollars.
- To date, more than 8.1 million hours of service have been contributed to communities across the country as a part of the Congressional Award program.
- There are currently more than 50,000 youth enrolled throughout the country and reside in every congressional district.