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advisors/ validators

You are a key component in helping the Congressional Award participant thrive and achieve their goals.  Find out which role best suits your level of commitment.


Empower Nevada's Youth

Guide and encourage Congressional Award participants to success by becoming a mentor and making a meaningful impact on their lives.


Keep Them on Track

Share your expertise and help participants set challenging, measurable goals as a Validator for the Congressional Award program.


As an advisor, you'd be committing to fulfilling the following responsibilities:
  • Affirm that the participant has registered with The Congressional Award.

  • Review The Congressional Award requirements and guidelines as provided in the Program Book with the participant.

  • Assist the participant in setting goals that are personally challenging, achievable, worthwhile, measurable, and fulfilling.

  • Help the participant identify appropriate activities and qualified Validators for each goal.

  • Maintain periodic contact with the participant while he or she works toward The Congressional Award.

  • If the participant needs to revise goals, help him or her set new goals and find activities to achieve them.

  • Encourage the participant to obtain written comments and signatures from his or her validators as soon as an individual goal has been met.

  • Once the participant has completed the set activities for a given Award level, review his or her records and help complete the Record Book. Please be sure to provide comments. Make certain that you and the participant keep a photocopy of the Record Book.

  • Once the participant has mailed in the Record Book, work with him or her to set new goals and begin working on the next level of the Award.


Encourage interested youth to sign up today and start counting hours towards earning the highest honor through the Congressional Award program.



As a validator, you'd be committing to fulfilling the following responsibilities:
  • Review The Congressional Award requirements and guidelines listed in the participant’s program booklet.

  • Discuss the specific requirements for the program area in which you’ll be working with the participant.

  • Help the participant identify his or her starting level in a particular area of endeavor.

  • Make certain that the participant’s goal is personally challenging, achievable, worthwhile, measurable, and fulfilling.

  • Once minimum hours and months of activity have been met in your program area, review all of the appropriate documentation and sign the Record Book. Please be sure to provide comments.

  • Who can serve as an Advisor or Validator?
    Any adult may serve as the Advisor or Validator, with the exception of the young person’s parent, relative or friends.
  • Does the Award match young people and Advisors?
    No, we do not match young people and Advisors. Participants need to find their own Advisor. The Advisor is an important role that the young person should fill with someone they personally want to learn from. The participant should choose someone that they know and trust and feel comfortable talking to about their goals and activities. Suitable Advisors in the past have been teachers, counselors, neighbors, family friends, Pastors, Scout Leaders, 4-H Advisors, coaches, etc. The only stipulation in choosing an Advisor is that the Advisor is not related to or a peer of the participant.
  • Does the Advisor need to register or go through training?
    No, the Advisor does not need to register with us and we do not require a training in order to serve in this role. However, you can learn more about the program and the process by attending an ongoing monthly virtual workshop held by the national Congressional Award office. You can sign-up via Zoom here or watch a previous recording of the workshop here. When a young person registers for the Award, they must include their Advisors name and contact information. Everything is participant based – we expect to communicate directly with the young person and include the Advisor when appropriate.
  • What is the time commitment of the Advisor?
    The time commitment depends on the relationship with the Advisor. Some Advisors have worked with their participants on a monthly check-in basis while others check in only when there is a roadblock or a goal or their record book is complete for Submittable. On average, we have found that Advisors tend to spend about 2-3 hours working with a young person when they are setting goals, then maybe once a month for check in (as needed) and then 2-3 hours when the young person is preparing the Record Book for submission via Submittable. The Advisor role was not designed or intended to be a burden on the Advisor, but a way for a young person to branch out and begin making connections in the world and learning from individuals beyond their family.
  • Who is Eligible to serve as an Advisor or Validator?
    Any adult may serve as an Advisor or Validator with the exception of parents, relatives, and peers. Congressional Award Gold Medal earners may also serve, regardless of their age. Keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the young people to identify their Advisor and Validators. Advisors meet with the young people while they set personally challenging goals, stay in touch while the participant pursues the Award, and provide assistance with the Record Book detailing their goals and activities. Teachers, coaches, neighbors, club sponsors, and civic leaders all make excellent advisors. The appropriate Validator depends on the participant’s activities. Validators should be knowledgeable in the activities a participant pursues to achieve a particular goal. For example, if a young person’s goal and activities involved basketball, a coach would make a suitable validator. Similarly, if a young person volunteered at an animal shelter, an employee or the volunteer coordinator would be an appropriate validator.
  • Why Advisors and Validators?
    As an Advisor or Validator, you play an important role in a young person’s pursuit of the Congressional Award. To earn the Award, participants set goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service; Personal Development; Physical Fitness; and Expedition/Exploration. Advisors guide participants through the goal-setting process in each of the four program areas and monitor their progress toward the Congressional Award. Validators assist the participant with individual activities. While any 14 to 23 year old may pursue a Congressional Award, it takes the commitment of volunteer adults to help them realize their potential. Your part in the Congressional Award is essential. Your guidance will be remembered long after the participant successfully meets his or her goals and is presented a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Certificate or Medal by the United States Congress.

not for you


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