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Congressional Award


The Congressional Award is the United States Congress' award for young Americans. Our Foundation remains Congress' only charity. The program is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday.

Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning The Congressional 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 after registering for the program.

Regardless of your situation, you can earn The Congressional Award. The Congressional Award has no minimum grade point average requirements. It accommodates young people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge.

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Members of Congress

The youth of our nation are positively affected because Members of the United States Congress have made a strong and clear commitment to a program that makes a difference in the lives of young people, The Congressional Award – Congress' highest honor for America's youth. The Congressional Award provides a structure for young Americans to learn the value of service, personal development, fitness, and citizenship through character forming experiences that shape tomorrow's leaders and our country's future.

The Congressional Award program is promoted throughout America by Members of Congress who share with their constituents a unique opportunity to provide today's youth with the tools they need to thrive as adults. There are many ways in which congressional offices can become involved:

  • Inform your staff about The Congressional Award. The National Office is more than willing to coordinate a conference call to brief members of your district and D.C. staff on the program.
  • Designate a staff member to serve as a liaison with The Congressional Award National Office. This person will help plan award presentations in your district and would also be the point person in your office to handle constituent questions about the program.
  • Identify volunteers at the district level to promote the program within schools, youth groups, and other organizations. The Congressional Award looks for teachers, guidance counselors, scoutmasters, leaders of such groups as 4-H, YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, and many others to help spread the word about the program.
  • Request promotional and informational materials from the National Office. Our office will send program materials to your D.C. or district offices to ensure you are equipped with the materials to be successful.
  • Make Congressional Award brochures available to youth in your district between the ages of 14 and 23. Keep Congressional Award materials displayed in both your Capitol Hill and district offices.
  • Include an item about the program in your next newsletter. Sample articles are available upon request.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.
  • Participate in the Gold Medal Ceremony held annually on Capitol Hill each June. This year Gold Medal class is estimated to be the largest in the program's 39 year history, with nearly 400 youth represented across 40 states. This is a prime opportunity to become further familiarized with the program and meet your constituents while their in the nation's capital.
  • Send congratulatory letters to Congressional Award recipients or newly enrolled students to encourage them to reach their goals.

There are youth in your district already participating in various programs and activities that can earn them a Congressional Award. Do not let them miss out on the recognition, scholarships, and opportunities this award can bring. Your community can benefit from the invaluable contribution Congressional Award participants make through their citizenship and service.

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