The Congressional Award is the highest honor a member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives may bestow upon a youth civilian. It is a non-partisan, voluntary, non-competitive program open to all ages from 14- to 23-years old. This is a program that gives youth an equal playing field regardless of their GPA, socioeconomic status, or circumstance. It's an opportunity to be honored for your initiative, service and achievements.
The Congressional Award was established by the U.S. Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people. It began as a bipartisan effort in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives.
The original bill was sponsored by Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming and Congressman James Howard of New Jersey. The enabling legislation (Public Law 96-114) established The Congressional Award as a private-public partnership, which receives all funding from the private sector.
The legislation was originally signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump have each signed continuing legislation.
The Congressional Award program values youth's commitment to making an impact in their community by setting long-term goals and achieving them on their own terms. This is what it takes to becoming a leader.
The entire experience really makes you a well-rounded person. You give a lot to earn the award, but the treasures you reap are priceless.
CA Silver Medalist
By encouraging such personal initiative, achievement, and service, the Congressional Award program promotes the well-being of our children and ensures the welfare of our country.
President Ronald Reagan
I have come to realize that I not only have the power to make a difference in my community, but I have a responsibility to do it.
W. VA Gold Medalist