WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of Senators Wednesday introduced legislation to reauthorize a successful 25-year-old program that recognizes young people for their initiative, achievement, and public service.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, joined to reauthorize the highly-regarded Congressional Awards program, first established in 1979.
“These awards encourage young people to be the best that they can be,” Collins, Lieberman, and Craig said in a statement. “They promote independence, leadership, and a strong sense of self in our children and can be won by just about any motivated youngster in the country.”
At least 17,000 people from across the country are currently participating in this program.
Under the Congressional Award program, youth between the ages of 14 and 23 earn awards by completing hours in each of four areas of achievement – volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.
Depending on how many hours are completed, participants earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold certificates or medals, and Gold medal winners are recognized at an annual ceremony in the Capitol.
The Congressional Award program is supported by private contributions.