January 20th, 2017
U.S. Representative Long’s “Short Report” 1/20/17
In 1976, Congress created the Congressional Award for young Americans between the ages of 14 to 23 years old to encourage America's youth to get involved in their local communities. The Congressional Award is a private-public partnership that receives all of its funding from the private sector. This award is forward looking - instead of recognizing past achievements, it requires applicants to set goals for helping out their local communities.
However, if an individual is a member of an organization such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or KEY Club, the activities they participate in can count towards whichever level they are working towards.
The Congressional Award has six different levels that an individual can work towards. Each level depends on the length of service in their local communities. For example, a bronze certificate requires 30 hours of voluntary public service, while the gold medal requires an individual completes 400 hours of voluntary public service.
To be considered for the Congressional Award, an individual must set goals in the required four program categories: volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration. The type of award an individual receives is based on what the individual accomplishes and the amount of time the individual spends on each category.
Regardless of an individual's background, anyone has the opportunity to earn the Congressional Award. Unlike many other awards, the Congressional Award does not set a minimum grade point average.
Missouri is one of the few lucky states that have a Congressional Award council. Each Congressman appoints two council members to help with more direct constituent engagement and outreach. Within each congressional office there is also a liaison to flag any issues there might be regarding an individual trying to work towards The Congressional Award.
Since its foundation, individuals participating in the Congressional Award program have completed over 7 million hours of public service, which has created a lasting impact for local communities. Missouri's 7th Congressional District has had nine individuals achieve the Gold medal. Currently there are seven individuals working towards a silver medal and one working towards a gold medal.
I encourage everyone who qualifies to participate in the Congressional Award to help our local community. If interested, more information can be found at http://congressionalaward.org/.
For more information on my activities in our district and in Washington I encourage you to follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rep.Billy.Long and my Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USRepLong. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter, "Long's Short Report," by visiting https://longforms.house.gov/newsletter-and-email-updates-form.