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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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