Remembering the life of former Rep. Ed Pastor

November 28, 2018 (Washington, DC) – The Congressional Award Foundation mourns the loss of former U.S. Representative Ed Pastor and expresses our condolences to family and friends.

Congressman Pastor was the first Hispanic member of Congress elected from Arizona and served for more than two decades in the House of Representatives.

In 2006, The Congressional Award presented Pastor with the Wallop-Howard Leadership Award. The honor recognized his outstanding commitment to improving the lives of our nation’s youth and providing critical support to the Foundation’s outreach.

Lauded as a true public servant and a consummate fighter for civil rights, Pastor’s legacy will have a lasting impact.

Reps. Clarke, Maloney Honor New York Youth with Congressional Award

Peal Dip of Elmhurst, NY receives his Bronze Medal from Representatives Clarke and Maloney.

New York, NY — On October 21, 2018, U.S. Representatives Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) hosted The Congressional Award’s 2018 New York Statewide Ceremony at New York Law School in the Tribeca neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City.

The ceremony recognized 297 youth across the state for their personal goal-setting and acts of citizenship. Just shy of 50 recipients were able to attend the event.

To earn the award, each young person set and achieved goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

This year’s group contributed 37,055 volunteer hours to their communities, an average of 125 hours per participant.

“I was delighted to be able to salute all the wonderful young people who received The Congressional Award at the New York ceremony,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

It’s a terrific program in which everyone benefits – the participants, who devote as much as two years of their time to projects that enable them to develop new skills, new interests, new insights, and new experiences as they go through the program; local organizations and people in need, who benefit from thousands of hours of public service volunteered by talented and ambitious young people; and communities, which benefit from having talented young people who have succeeded in challenging themselves to excel and who are becoming the leaders of the future,” added Maloney.

Issuing inspiring words of encouragement to the recipients Congresswoman Yvette Clarke stated, “Remember this award is only the beginning of your journey. Make service your lifestyle!”

New York’s Congressional Award recipients with Representatives Clarke, Maloney, and special guests.

Pamela Wilks, Assistant Principal of Manhattan Hunter Science High School, was presented with the Outstanding Advisor award for her efforts in mentoring students through the program.

Guests of honor included three members of The Congressional Award’s National Board of Directors – Anthony Crowell, Dean and President of New York Law School, Dr. Brian Johnson, and Mitch Draizin – as well as NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Spectrum News NY1 political reporter Grace Rauh volunteered her talents as the master of ceremonies.

Event photos, ceremony program, and list of award recipients (including hometowns) are available to view and download.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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Sen. Wicker, Rep. Harper Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Mississippi Congressional Award

Mississippi’s Congressional Awardees with Sen. Wicker and Rep. Harper in the Old Capitol Museum.

Jackson, MS — On Sunday, October 14, 2018, Senator Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Congressman Gregg Harper (MS-03) hosted The Congressional Award’s 2018 Mississippi Statewide Ceremony at the Old Capitol Museum.

The award ceremony recognized 38 youth across the state for their personal goal-setting and volunteer efforts.

In 2018 alone, Congressional Award participants in Mississippi have contributed 41,850 hours of service to their communities.

Each recipient set and achieved goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

Senator Wicker congratulates award recipients.

“I am proud of these young men and women for their accomplishments,” said Senator Roger Wicker.

“Their impressive records of public service are a testament to their character and a credit to our state. I extend my personal thanks to Mississippi 4-H and the Mississippi State University Extension program for their 20 years of support of The Congressional Award. It is clear the program has promoted initiative, achievement, and excellence in our young people,” added Wicker.

Representative Gregg Harper interacts with recipients before the ceremony.

Parents, alumni, and mentors were also in attendance to celebrate an immense milestone.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Congressional Award program being presented through Mississippi 4-H and Mississippi State University Extension.

“The Congressional Award is able to empower and equip youth in local communities thanks to our elected officials and partners like Mississippi 4-H and Mississippi State University Extension. By offering shared experiences and fostering critical life skills, we are developing the next generation of leaders,” said Erica Heyse, National Director of The Congressional Award Foundation.

Special guests at the celebration included Dr. Gary Jackson, Director of Mississippi State University Extension; and Dr. Linda Mitchell, Regional Extension Coordinator for the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center and member of The Congressional Award Board of Directors.

16 WAPT News anchor Keegan Foxx volunteered her afternoon to be the master of ceremonies.

Event photos and a copy of the ceremony program (including a list of awardees and their hometowns) are available to view and download.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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Reps. Clay, Wagner Host Missouri Ceremony at Busch Stadium

Missouri’s Congressional Awardees with Representatives Clay, Wagner and guests at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis, MO — On Saturday, September 22, 2018, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02) recognized youth achievement in the Show Me State.

The 2018 Missouri Statewide Ceremony honored 46 youth across the state for personal goal-setting and volunteerism in their communities.

Each recipient set and achieved goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

This year’s group contributed 10,735 hours of service to their communities, an average of 233 hours per youth.

“It was my distinct honor to present The Congressional Award to extraordinary young people from all across Missouri,” stated Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02). “Hearing their stories, meeting their families, and witnessing their tremendous public service to our community was truly an inspiration.”

Representatives Clay and Wagner present Trey Fruend of St. Louis with the Gold Medal.

The ceremony was made possible by Title Sponsor Bayer.

The prominent life science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture was a fitting partner for an event held in one of the nation’s most active scientific research communities.

“Bayer is proud to partner with and support The Congressional Award Foundation, the STEM Stars program, and the national 4-H Council. Through this investment, we are helping young people engage in their communities and focus on STEM initiatives that will meet future demands for innovation and change,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer’s Vice President of Community Relations and President of the Monsanto Fund.

“It’s very gratifying to support an organization whose mission is to empower thousands of young people to challenge themselves in reaching their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” added Mitchell.

Award recipients are welcomed to Busch Stadium by St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt, III

Busch Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, was the perfect backdrop for the youth recognition event. The club welcomed award recipients and guests to Cunningham Corner and offered tickets to the televised ballgame beforehand.

“They’re here today because they’ve done great things in the community. Anytime you earn a Congressional Award it’s a big deal. Instead of them going to D.C. we had a Cardinal ballgame today and celebrated them in St. Louis,” said Bill DeWitt, III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Foundation also used the event to accentuate two long-standing partners – 4-H and People to People International – both youth leadership organizations with strong ties to Missouri.

People to People International’s CEO Merrill Eisenhower Atwater served as the keynote speaker.

Jo Britt-Rankin, Associate Dean and Extension Professor for University of Missouri Extension, gave remarks and was accompanied by a group of Missouri 4-Hers.

News 4 This Morning’s Marissa Hollowed lent her talents as master of ceremonies.

Sarah Nemanick shows off her Silver Medal.

The Congressional Award aims to foster principles of good citizenship and equip the next generation of leaders. The program offers not only a superlative to include on resumes and college applications, but has a track record of making goal-setting and service to others a habit for the youth that earn the award.

“Many of these students are college bound, others will enter the workforce. We hope that this program gives them the skillsets to prepare for their future,” stated Erica Heyse, National Director of The Congressional Award Foundation.

Julia Ngega of Lee’s Summit, Missouri was one of the Bronze Medalists presented at the ceremony.

“It was one of the most empowering, confidence-boosting things I’ve ever done. I am so grateful I did it. I feel like now I can go out and do more for my community and I enjoy that,” said Ngega.

Event photos and a copy of the ceremony program are available to view and download.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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Thank You, Golfers!

A note from the desk of National Director Erica Heyse:

Dear Golfers,

Thank you for coming out for the big event on October 1st! It was a lovely sunny day and a reprieve from weeks of rain. In other words, perfection. We hope your game was the same. As many of you know, this is the largest fundraiser of the year for us. I’d like to thank each of you for making it possible. With your help, we raised almost $250,000 for the program. It was a record year for us!

First I’d like to thank our Congressional Players, Congressman Gregg Harper, James Comer, Billy Long, and Don Young (and his lovely wife) and all of the Chiefs of Staff for coming out and making our tournament a success. Not only are you making the time, but you are helping us promote the program in your districts. We hope you all had fun for a great cause!

As many of you know, The Congressional Award is a public/private partnership. The Award raises its own operating budget entirely through private sector donations. A special thank you goes out to our lead sponsor AARP, represented by Joyce Rogers and Board Member Beverly Gilyard. We’d also like to recognize our Platinum Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, represented by Board Member and Development Chair Kathy Didawick and her team, Bayer – Gold Sponsor, represented by Board Member Chris Leahy, and all of our Sponsors:

Alfac, represented by Board Member Brad Knox
Lockheed Martin
Amerisource Bergen
Edward Jones
Bridgestone Firestone
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
Kroger
T-Mobile
NEI
G2 Secure Staff, represented by Board Member Kim Talley
Celgene, represented by Board Member Pat Gliha
FMC Corporation
Cigar Rights of America
PCMA, represented by Board Member Jonathan Heafitz
United Rentals
Smithfield Foods
Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
PhRMA
CSX
Abbott
Altria
ATA
Merck
Valero
CenturyLink
Convestro
ICSC
Johnson & Johnson

We’d like to also recognize our special guest and honoree, Mr. Curtis Martin. Most football fans know about Martin’s accomplishments on the field. The Patriots drafted him in the third round in 1995. He spent three seasons with them, and then spent his final eight years with the Jets. He made five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2004. His 14,101 rushing yards rank fifth in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

But yesterday we all learned that Martin was most remarkable for what he did off the field. Not only did he rise above his environment coming from a rough neighborhood in Pittsburgh, but when he joined the Patriots, he started setting aside a portion of his paychecks to establish the Curtis Martin Job Foundation. It was initially aimed at helping single mothers and has since expanded to support education and housing needs, children’s charities, and people with disabilities. I believe his story will stay with us for a long time to come.

 And last but certainly not least, a big THANK YOU to our Golf Chairman, David Falk, as well as every member of our Board. We thank you so much for your contributions at the event, but also throughout the year. See you all next time!

And finally, here’s a peek at the winners:
First Place: Tony Russo, Laura Linderman, Laura McPherson, and Chris Putala (T-Mobile)
Second Place: Gael Sullivan, Jamie Houton, Mike Rooney, and Congressman Don Young (BNSF Group)
Third Place: Berry Trimble, Dwayne Carson, and Karen Sessions (BCBSA Group)

Men’s Longest Drive: Andrew Callahan
Women’s Longest Drive: Caroline Cash
Men’s Closest to the Pin: Ben Kwon
Women’s Closest to the Pin: Karen Sessions

Best,

Erica Wheelan Heyse
National Director

Curtis Martin Selected as Horizon Award Recipient

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Pro Football Hall of Famer to be recognized for charitable contributions

Washington, DC (September 25, 2018) — Congress will honor former NFL player Curtis Martin with the Horizon Award at The Congressional Award Foundation’s 24th Annual Golf Classic on October 1, 2018.

Curtis Martin played 11 seasons in the National Football League for the New England Patriots and New York Jets and is revered as one of the all-time great rushing leaders. Martin amassed 14,101 total rushing yards in his career, the fifth highest total in NFL history.

Martin is a 5-time Pro Bowl selection, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1995), NFL rushing yards leader (2004), and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

His humanitarian efforts and compassion may be more impressive.

While an active player, Curtis founded the Curtis Martin Job Foundation, aimed at providing financial aid and hands-on support to single mothers, youth charities, individuals with disabilities, and low income housing providers.

His foundation even launched an initiative to send surgeons to Third World countries to perform operations on underprivileged and uninsured patients.

Martin’s selfless acts have not gone unnoticed. He was named the 2014 Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council and has often been lauded for setting aside 12-20% of every paycheck for charity.

“Curtis has distinguished himself on and off the field. He personifies the tenets of The Congressional Award – initiative, service, and achievement – and has set an exceptional example for our youth. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor,” said Paxton Baker, Chairman of The Congressional Award National Board of Directors.

The Horizon Award
A special recognition from the Joint Leadership Commission of The Congressional Award Foundation and its Board of Directors, the Horizon Award recognizes individuals from the private sector who have worked to expand opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions.

Previous recipients include personalities like Drew Brees, America Ferrera, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bob Lanier, Wynton Marsalis, Cal Ripken, Jr., Pat and Emmitt Smith, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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Congressman Lance Hosts New Jersey Congressional Award Ceremony

Summit, NJ — On Saturday, September 8, 2018, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (NJ-07) hosted the 2018 New Jersey Congressional Award Ceremony.

The statewide ceremony recognized 92 New Jersey youth with The Congressional Award Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medal. Each awardee set and achieved goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Collectively, this year’s group contributed 25,770 volunteer hours to their local communities.

In his keynote address, Congressman Lance described the importance of the accomplishment.

“The Congressional Award highlights the incredible volunteerism and community spirit of many young Americans from all walks of life and from each corner of the United States. Our New Jersey students did a tremendous job and our medalists have bettered their neighborhoods, helped those in need, and inspired friends and family to take up public service. I commend all participants and their advisors for their good work. Congratulations to the 2018 Congressional Award recipients.”

Celgene served as the Title Sponsor as well as the host venue, welcoming award recipients and guests to their headquarters in Summit, New Jersey. The global biopharmaceutical company has become a perennial partner of Congress’ award program for youth, supporting the development of the program both locally and nationally.

Rich Bagger, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Strategic Market Access at Celgene Corporation, provided congratulatory remarks at the event.

“Celgene is proud to support The Congressional Award program, and proud to see so many young adults from New Jersey receive their Congressional Awards. We are inspired by the dedication to community service, the investment in self-improvement, and the commitment to helping others that was displayed by the award winners. This program traces its roots to our home state of New Jersey, and Celgene looks forward to continuing our partnership to grow and expand this great program for youth across our state,” said Bagger.

The ceremony also lent the talents of News 12 New Jersey political reporter Katie Kyros as master of ceremonies and Reverend Gary Holden, CEO of The Police Chaplain Program.

Celgene’s Director of Federal Government Relations and Congressional Award Board Member, Patrick Gliha, was on hand to help also present Congressional Award STEM Stars to participants who pursued activities in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“At Celgene, our purpose and our mission is to change the course of human health through bold pursuits in science. Though we’ve made tremendous strides in the treatment of many diseases, we know that there is still much work to be done. As we look to the future, it is important that we continue to develop the next generation of biologists, chemists, engineers, pharmacists, nurses, and more. It is these jobs that will fill the labs of tomorrow and benefit not just our workforce at Celgene but nationwide. That is why we support The Congressional Award STEM Stars Initiative, to continue to see a passion for STEM in our youth, who will go on to pursue careers in science and math,” stated Gliha.

The ceremony program and list of this year’s recipients are available to download.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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Reps. Adams and Hudson Host NC Congressional Award Ceremony

Concord, NC — On Thursday, August 16, 2018, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) and Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) hosted the 2018 North Carolina Congressional Award Ceremony & 4-H Kick-Off.

The event recognized youth for setting goals that positively impacted their community and challenged themselves personally. Each Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist logged hundreds of hours in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

Charlotte Motor Speedway served as the host venue, granting medalists and their guests special access to The Speedway Club event space.

Aric Almirola, NASCAR driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing, served as keynote speaker.

The ceremony was also a strategic effort to showcase the Foundation’s partnership with 4-H, a youth-centric organization with a strong footprint in the Tar Heel State.

Keeping with the spirit of the two youth development programs, the event was capped off with a service project. Youth participants assembled hundreds of hygiene kits to be delivered to deployed U.S. military service members.

Mike Skahill, Vice President of Government Affairs at Smithfield Foods and Congressional Award Foundation board member, delivered the congratulatory remarks on behalf of event sponsor, Smithfield Foods.

“Smithfield Foods is proud to once again support The Congressional Award, rewarding tomorrow’s leaders for their dedication to public service and personal growth,” said Skahill. “We share the same values of integrity and accountability and are strongly committed to practicing these principles each day across our company and fostering the same commitment through future generations.”

Before the presentation of medals, Congresswoman Adams and Congressman Hudson spoke directly to the award recipients.

“These young men and women are truly inspirational leaders and I am honored to be part of this program,” stated Congressman Hudson. As a member of The Congressional Award’s Board of Directors, I am proud to recognize their achievements and encourage others to participate in the program. I look forward to hearing about their continued success in the future.”

“I’m privileged to present The Congressional Award to the young North Carolinians who earned this honor in 2018, and I am inspired by their dedication to themselves, our state, and our nation.” said Congresswoman Adams. “Each of these young leaders’ commitment to personal development and public service is positively impacting communities across the Tar Heel state. I know that the future of our democracy is bright.”

This year’s ceremony honored 78 Medalists across the state who collectively contributed over 70,000 hours of voluntary public service. North Carolina remains one of the most active states in The Congressional Award’s portfolio, with the Charlotte metropolitan area ranking within the top 10 fastest growing regions.

A copy of the ceremony program and list of Congressional Award recipients can be found here.

About
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

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U.S. Congress to Honor Youth Nationwide with Congressional Award Gold Medal

What: Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives will recognize 442 youth across 41 states at the 2018 Congressional Award Gold Medal Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For a minimum of two years, each Gold Medalist has logged at least 800 hours across four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. The 2018 Gold Medal class is the largest in the program’s 39 year history.

Where: Three award ceremonies will take place in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room, located in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

When: Thursday, June 21, 2018

10:00 a.m. | Ceremony One
Arizona, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

12:30 p.m. | Ceremony Two
California, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas.

3:00 p.m. | Ceremony Three
Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Who: Approximately 1,000 attendees, including Members of Congress, youth Gold Medalists and family/friends, corporate and community leaders, and partnering organizations.

The ceremony will welcome special guests like ABC’s Jonathan Karl as Master of Ceremonies and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Media Information: Gold Medalist contact information and award biographies are available upon request. Learn more at www.congressionalaward.org/2018gmc. A list of Gold Medalists can be found here.

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The Congressional Award is the U.S. Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a young person through the Senate and House. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

Congressional Award Arkansas Kick-Off Held in Little Rock

Washington, DC (April 27, 2018) — In cooperation with Arkansas 4-H and state and local partners, The Congressional Award Foundation held a program launch event in Little Rock last weekend.

The Arkansas Service Day and Reception, held on Saturday, April 21, was a strategic effort to showcase the Foundation’s partnership with 4-H and to introduce Congress’ award for youth to young people in the Natural State.

Coinciding with Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world, the kick-off begin with a celebration of service at the Arkansas 4-H Center. Youth participants assembled hundreds of hygiene kits for deployed military service members.

That evening, Governor Asa Hutchinson welcomed youth participants, family members, and supporters to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion for a reception. Honorary guests and speakers included U.S. Senator John Boozman, former Secretary of Transportation and Congressional Award Vice-Chairman Rodney Slater, and Associate Director of 4-H Youth Development Dr. Martha Ray Sartor.

“The young people who gathered at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion reminded me that the upcoming generation promises great things for Arkansas,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “I appreciate The Congressional Award program for the opportunities it offers our youth to undertake good work for their communities. It was an honor to greet the men and women of our future.”

Erica Heyse, Congressional Award National Director, identified Arkansas as a primary target for outreach and development in the coming year, with a goal of enrolling youth from across the state.

Following the event, Senator Boozman issued the following statement, “The Congressional Award program is a worthwhile experience that is incredibly fulfilling for our youth and the organizations where they dedicate their service. Partnering with 4-H will open more doors to youth interested in improving themselves and their community. I am proud to support this opportunity to challenge young Arkansans to develop valuable skills that will help shape their future.”

View the full photo gallery of the reception. Photos provided by the Office of Governor Hutchinson.


About The Congressional Award
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.

About 4‑H
4‑H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4‑H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices.

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