The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 13 1/2 to 23 year olds. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace – on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals.
Regardless of your situation, you can earn the Congressional Award. It accommodates any young person willing to take the challenge.
Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people. It began as a bipartisan effort in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. The original bill was sponsored by the late Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming (left) and the late Congressman James Howard of New Jersey.
The enabling legislation (Public Law 96-114) established the Congressional Award as a private-public partnership, which receives all funding from the private sector. It was originally signed into law by President Jimmy Carter and Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have each signed continuing legislation.
The Wyoming Congressional Award Council is managed by a biparitisan board of directors from various Wyoming counties. The board meets biannually and manages all affairs of the state council. The board is responsible for organizing, funding and operating the Wyoming Congressional Award program under operating procedures and guidelines established by the Congressional Award Foundation and National Board of Directors.
Currently, the Wyoming Council has twelve board members and three honorary ex-officio chairpersons including Senator Michael B. Enzi, Senator John Barrasso and Representative Cynthia M. Lummis. Members of the board are critical components in impacting the growth of the program throughout the state of Wyoming. Board development is ongoing and active involvement is essential.