Congratulations to Valencia High School’s very own Lydia Kim, who has met the challenge of the United States Congress! The Congressional Award is Congress’s only charity. Established into law in 1979, the Congressional Award was created to honor, encourage, and inspire America’s youth. In the ensuing years, Congress has recognized thousands of outstanding young Americans who have earned this recognition.
Through the Congressional Award, Congress urges young people to challenge themselves. Any interested and motivated student, ages 14 through 24 years old, may participate in the Congressional Award by setting and achieving individually challenging goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. The Congressional Award adapts to meet the needs of every participant as they set goals according to their own interests and level of abilities. The Award is geared toward motivated, interested youth who set their own personally challenging goals and activities. These are not always necessarily your A students, but maybe students who want to stand out for the goals they set for themselves on their own time.
Lydia has earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal. To earn the Gold Medal, each participant must complete at least 400 hours of Voluntary Public Service, which means sharing their time and talent for the betterment of the community, 200 hours of Personal Development, which can include developing social and life skills as well as interests, and 200 hours of Physical Fitness, spent in any way that improves their health and quality of life. Additionally, they must spend at least five days and four nights exploring a new environment or culture. Lydia has been consistently working to achieve this award for over 2 years, the minimum time frame to earn the Gold Medal.