As a member of Congress, I have many opportunities to meet with Idahoans and to honor excellence in our state. The Congressional Award was created by Congress to recognize and promote achievement, initiative and service in America's youth. I am proud that Idaho has had a high rate of participation in this distinguished program. I have been fortunate to participate in ceremonies both in Idaho and in Washington D.C. recognizing those who earn medals in the program.
Congressional Awards focus on four areas:
1) voluntary public service;
2) personal development;
3) physical fitness; and
4) expedition/exploration activities.
Involvement in activities like 4-H, aerobics, school and community sports, camping and other outdoor activities, high school clubs and activities, and other extra-curricular activities will help you achieve medal status in the Congressional Awards.
Since 1979, more than five thousand people throughout the country have received awards and recognition. They have provided more than 750,000 hours of voluntary community service, and I am thrilled with Idaho's contribution to this effort. Volunteer work has been done in hospitals, schools, forests, food drives, senior citizen homes, museums and public service organizations. The organizations benefit tremendously from the volunteer assistance, but the youth who volunteer benefit even more. Such experiences help us learn more about the community around us and provide us with broader insight into ourselves. Service always boosts the self-esteem of those performing the service.
I have been a strong advocate for the program, and have always encouraged Idaho's youth to participate. Idaho's communities have benefited from the thousands of volunteer hours that Idaho's youth have invested in earning this award. The Congressional Awards program gives excellent opportunities to strengthen our youth, our community, and our state.
Additional information is available at the Congressional Awards website. For more information or to register, please contact the organization's national office. Specific questions regarding Idaho's youth participants can be directed to Molly Geiser.