2019 Gold Medalist Information

Congratulations on earning The Congressional Award Gold Medal, U.S. Congress’ highest honor for young Americans! Your accomplishment will be recognized by Congress, partners, and supporters at the 2019 Gold Medal Ceremony & Events in Washington, D.C.

Utilize this event page to submit your RSVP and Biography and prepare for your trip if you’re attending the ceremony. Check back often as we will update this page as information is confirmed.

Your RSVP & Biography are due May 1, 2019!
You must submit BOTH of these whether you’re able to attend the Gold Medal Ceremony or not.

Please contact us at gold@congressionalaward.org or (202) 226-0130 if you have any questions.

FULL SCHEDULE   SUBMIT RSVP   SUBMIT BIO


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Check-In, Run-Through, & Networking
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Hart Senate Office Building
Room 902

Learn what to expect for your ceremony, pick up your materials and event tickets, and get to know your fellow Gold Medalists!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Gold Medal Ceremonies
10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
U.S Capitol Visitor Center
Congressional Auditorium

Three ceremonies will take place throughout the day to accommodate guests. Gold Medalists are assigned to one ceremony by their state affiliation.

10:00 a.m. | Ceremony I
Gold Medalists from the following states/territories will be recognized at the first ceremony: Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.

12:30 p.m. | Ceremony II
Gold Medalists from the following states/territories will be recognized at the second ceremony: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

3:00 p.m. | Ceremony III
Gold Medalists from the following states/territories will be recognized at the third ceremony: Arizona, Armed Services Abroad, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Gold Medalist Group Photo
4:45 p.m.
Capitol Reflecting Pool

Immediately following the third ceremony, Medalists will be led to the group photo. Medalists from the first two ceremonies should meet at the photo location no later than 4:40 p.m. with their Gold Medal!

STEM Stars Reception
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Russell Senate Office Building
Kennedy Caucus Room (SR-325)

The Congressional Award Foundation will host a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Stars Reception to celebrate Gold Medalists who engaged in STEM activities to earn their Gold Medal.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Panel Discussions
Locations vary. Visit the full schedule or panel discussion pages for details.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
A Lifetime of Service OR Entrepreneurship

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Travel with Purpose OR Inspirational and Empowering Women

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Sports, Health, and Wellness

Gold Medalists will have the opportunity to attend up to three expert panels with their peers. Choose from one of two panels in both the morning and early afternoon, and one in late afternoon.

Washington Nationals Experience
Nationals Ballpark

11:30 a.m. | Nationals On-Field Photo
7:05 p.m. | Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves

*Both the photo and MLB game will take place at Nationals Ballpark


Announcements

5/7 – Ceremony Assignments Announced

Call for Photos
We will be highlighting 2019 Gold Medalists during the months leading up to and during the Gold Medal Ceremony. If you would like to participate, submit photos (headshots, candids, ones of you in action) by email to gold@congressionalaward.org by June 14, 2019.

Meet the 2019 Gold Medal Class
Hundreds of youth have put their communities on the map! See where this year’s Gold Medalists hail from.

FAQ's

Utilize the Frequently Asked Questions below for uncertainties. If you still have questions after reviewing, please feel free to contact us at gold@congressionalaward.org.

Check-In & Run-Through (June 19)

What will I receive at the check-in event?
Medalists will receive their Gold Medal t-shirt, event schedule, ceremony tickets, Nationals tickets, a Gold Medal box, and photographer information.

What happens if I cannot attend?
You will receive all the above materials at the check-in prior to your ceremony on Thursday, June 20th.

Can I bring a parent to this event?
We would prefer that just Gold Medalists attend, but if a parent would like to or needs to be in attendance please contact Kirsten Gooden at gold@congressionalaward.org. 

Gold Medal Ceremony (June 20)

How is the Gold Medal Ceremony organized?
The Gold Medal Ceremony will occur in the United States Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) Congressional Auditorium on Capitol Hill. Three ceremonies will be held throughout the day in order to accommodate guests. The ceremonies are divided by state. We will notify medalists of their ceremony time in May, and work with Congressional Offices to confirm your U.S. Representative’s attendance.

On the day of the ceremony, Gold Medalists are asked to check-in for their ceremony 45 minutes before the scheduled start time, allowing National Staff time to prepare the Gold Medalists for the presentation. Guests will be able to enter the room 15 minutes before start time. The ceremony includes a color guard presentation, invocation, speakers, and a brief introduction of each Gold Medalist as they receive their medals.

When will I learn my ceremony time?
Medalists will be notified of their ceremony time in May, once all RSVPs are submitted. Medalists are assigned to a ceremony by state affiliation.

Can I request a specific ceremony time?
No. We do not take requests for specific ceremony times. While we understand that a specific ceremony may be preferred, we must be conscious of congressional schedules as well as other Gold Medalists from your state.

Can I contact my Congressional Office about my award?
Yes, but please wait to do so until May after we have decided your ceremony time and formally invited your Representative and Senators.

Will my Member of Congress contact me to visit their office?
Maybe. Some Members of Congress will reach out to their medalists for a photo op or a meet and greet. We send formal invitations to Congressional Offices and we include your contact information. It is imperative that we have accurate contact information, including a means for reaching you while you are in Washington, D.C. so that if a Member chooses to contact you, they are able to do so.

What happens if my Member of Congress cannot attend?
We make every attempt to have your Representative make your presentation. If they cannot attend the ceremony, we will ask another Member of Congress to step in for the presentation.

When do Gold Medalists and guests need to check-in?
Medalists are asked to arrive 45 minutes before their assigned ceremony time. If the medalist was unable to attend the official check-in event the day prior, they will be receiving their ceremony tickets, National tickets, medal box, photography information, and t-shirt during this time. They should have one parent or guest with them to hold their items as medalists cannot bring them into the auditorium. Guests will be allowed into the auditorium 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony and will require a ticket to enter.

Persons with disabilities who require special accommodations or who have questions about physical access should contact Kirsten Gooden at gold@congressionalaward.org in advance of the ceremony.

Will there be a photographer at the ceremony? Can my family take a picture of my presentation?
Photos will be taken of each Gold Medalist as they are presented. Each Gold Medalist will receive a link to electronically download photos from the events the following week.

As we provide a link to the photos after the ceremonies, we ask that family members and guests not attempt to take their own photos. Flash photography and maneuvering for a personal picture may interfere with our professional photographer and may obstruct the view of other families.

Where are the group photos taken? What if the weather is poor?
A group photo of the entire 2019 Gold Medal class will be taken at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 at the Capitol Reflecting Pool located west of 1st Street NW, in between Maryland and Pennsylvania Avenues.

Immediately following the third ceremony, Gold Medalists will be led to the group photo location. Gold Medalists from the first two ceremonies should meet the group at the photo location (with your Gold Medal) no later than 4:40 p.m. Please look for Congressional Award staff who will have signs.

If there is a need to change the location (weather or unlikely emergency), we will notify Gold Medalists via the email address included on the RSVP form as soon as changes are made. We do not expect any changes but do need accurate contact information in the event of a location change.

What is the dress code for the ceremony?
Please keep in mind that the Gold Medal Ceremony is a business formal event. Business attire should be worn by all participants (coat and tie for men, business suit/dress for women). Formal gowns or prom dresses will not be appropriate. Participants are encouraged to make conservative clothing choices. Please do not wear flip flops or tennis shoes for the ceremony. Also, young ladies should keep a conservative heel height as you will be walking across the stage and navigating stairs.

How do we get to the ceremony or other Gold Medal events? Can we drive to Capitol Hill?
The Capitol Visitor Center is located beneath the East Front Plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street. You will be required to go through security to enter the Capitol Visitor Center. Please allow 15-20 minutes to enter. There will be staff members holding signs after you pass through security to direct Gold Medalists and their families to the check-in area and auditorium.

Before your visit please check out the list of prohibited items that are not able to pass through security and into the Capitol Visitor Center.

Parking is VERY limited around the Capitol. We recommend taking Metro (Washington, D.C.’s subway system). The Capitol Visitor Center is between two metro stops – Union Station on the Red Line and the Capitol South on the Blue/Orange/Silver Lines. Please visit www.wmata.com for details about the Metro System. You may also look into other ground transportation options like taxis, Uber. etc.

Call for Photos

We will be highlighting 2019 Gold Medalists during the months leading up to and during the Gold Medal Ceremony. If you would like to participate, submit your photos (headshots, candids, ones of you in action) by email to gold@congressionalaward.org by June 14, 2019.

Unable to attend the Gold Medal Ceremony?

If I am NOT attending the ceremony in Washington, D.C., do I have to send in my RSVP and biography?
YES. You must complete your RSVP even if you are not planning to attend the ceremony. We also request information from you regarding your choice of presentation if you cannot attend, your t-shirt size, and contact information. The Gold Medal Biographies appear in the program, allowing an opportunity for all Gold Medalists to share their accomplishments in earning The Congressional Award. The program is shared with Congressional Offices, press, and all guests. If we do not receive your biography, only your name will be printed in the program.

If we do not hear from you by the due date (May 1) we will make a few attempts to confirm your attendance. This takes resources away from the ceremony as well as planning local presentations. Please be considerate and submit your RSVP on time. If you do not RSVP, then you will not be sent your t-shirt.

If I request a LOCAL presentation, what can I expect?
Following the Gold Medal Ceremony, if you have not already had your local presentation, we will notify your local Congressional Office regarding your award. Local presentations most often occur in local Congressional District Offices, allowing families and medalists an opportunity for an intimate meeting with their Member of Congress. In July, you will receive a Gold Packet from the National Office, including your t-shirt and program. If you have questions about your local presentation, please contact us. If you move or change your contact information before your local presentation is scheduled, please contact us.

If I request my medal to be MAILED to me, what can I expect?
We will send your Gold Packet in July, including your Gold Medal and any of your lower level awards (if applicable), t-shirt, and program. If you move, we request that you update your contact information with us. Please note if you choose to have your medal mailed to you, you will not have a local presentation.

Can I come to next year’s Gold Medal Ceremony if I can’t make this one?
No. We do not grant deferrals due to the growing number of medalists year to year.

Panel Discussions (June 21)

How many panels can I attend?
There will be two morning panels (8:30 a.m.), two early afternoon panels (1:30 p.m.), and one late afternoon panel (3:30 p.m.). You can attend all three time slots if you so choose (selecting one from each of the first two panels). Please note that panels have limited space and are first come, first serve. Once a panel is filled, we will close that option on the RSVP form.

Can I bring guests to the panel?
The panels are focused on the medalists, but you do have the option to bring one guest (parent, guardian, etc.) to the panel with you. Please note your guest on the RSVP form.

What do I wear to the panels?
Please wear your 2019 Gold Medal t-shirt with school appropriate bottoms.

Will food be provided?
There will be light refreshments provided at each panel.

Can I ask questions during the panel?
Yes! But we will be requiring that all questions are submitted prior to the panel. In May we will release the panelist information, and request that medalists submit their questions for the panels.

Nationals On-Field Photo (June 21)

Where is Nationals Park?
Nationals Park is located at 1500 S Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. To get to the park we recommend taking Metro to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station on the Green Line. The ballpark is two blocks from the metro exit. Parking will not be available at the stadium during the photo.

Gold Medalists will meet Congressional Award National Staff at the entrance to the ballpark on First Street SE at 11:15 a.m. We will enter the stadium as a group at 11:30 a.m. If you are not present at the time that the group enters the stadium unfortunately there is NO way to enter the stadium as it will be closed to the public.

What do I wear to the group photo at Nationals Park?
All Gold Medalists should wear their 2019 Gold Medal t-shirt which will be provided to them at the ceremony the day prior. As Gold Medalists will be entering the stadium, they are required to go through security so please only bring the essentials and leave your bags with your parents as they will NOT be allowed in the stadium during the group photo. Also, please do NOT wear cleats or heels as you will not be allowed onto the field.

Why are my family members not allowed in the stadium for the photo?
As Nationals Park will still be closed to the public during the photo, only Gold Medalists will be allowed to enter for the photo. Parents will need to wait on the sidewalk outside of the ballpark. This is due to limited space on the diamond.

Nationals Game (June 21)

How many guests can I bring to the game? Can I request extra tickets for additional guests?
Each Gold Medalist is entitled to four complimentary tickets for the game (one for themselves and three for their guests). Each complimentary ticket will come with a $25 food/beverage credit to be used throughout the stadium.

You may purchase additional tickets for $25 each through this custom Washington Nationals link through June 7, 2019. All Gold Medalists will be in the same sections in the stadium and we will do our best to seat the purchased tickets near the complimentary tickets, but it is not guaranteed.

Please note that the price of additional tickets is $25. Included in that price is a $10 donation that will go directly to support The Congressional Award Foundation. The Foundation does not receive any federal funding but relies entirely on private contributions. Your donation ensures the continuation of this important youth development program for years to come.

How will I get my tickets?
All Gold Medalists attending the ceremonies will receive their tickets during the check-in event on Wednesday afternoon. If a medalist was unable to attend the event on Wednesday, they will receive their tickets during ceremony check-in on Thursday. The tickets will be in hard copy form so you will be responsible for them once they are handed out.

What do I wear to the baseball game at Nationals Park?
All Gold Medalists should wear their 2019 Gold Medal t-shirt which will be provided to them at the ceremony the day prior.

How do I get to Nationals Park? Can I drive?
Nationals Park is located at 1500 S Capitol St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. To get to the park, we recommend taking Metro to the Navy Yard Ballpark station on the Green Line. The ballpark is a two-block walk from the metro.

If you are driving, street parking is extremely limited, and it is recommended that you investigate parking at the stadium. We will not provide parking, so it is up to you and your guests to look into parking options.

What to expect at the game?
During the Nationals game there will be a time when Congressional Award Gold Medalists will be asked to stand and there will be a special recognition video shown on the scoreboard. They will also pan to our seats so be ready! The exact time is still being determined.

In addition, the game giveaway for fans is a Max Scherzer Bobblehead. There will be a limited amount given away. The centerfield gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and the giveaways tend to be gone by 6:15 p.m. If you are interested, we recommend getting to gate when they open!

Gold Medalists will be responsible for themselves and their guests during the game. There is no scheduled programming that you need to be aware of. Enjoy yourself and remember you are representing The Congressional Award!

Hotel Info

The Congressional Award has partnered with three hotels to provide discounted room rates for participants during their time in Washington, D.C. Hotels that are located directly outside of Washington, D.C. tend to be more cost effective.

The Congressional Award is NOT responsible for booking your hotel rooms, or any issues that arise between the hotel and your party. You must communicate directly with the hotels, which are subject to availability and may fill up prior to the cutoff dates.

Hyatt Centric Arlington
1325 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209

Event Title: The Congressional Award – June 2019
Rooms are available from Wednesday, June 19 to Saturday, June 22, 2019.
The daily rate for our group is $249.00 for the night of June 19, $199.00 for the night of June 20, and $149.00 for the night of June 21. All reservations must be made by May 17, 2019.

The Hyatt Centric Arlington is located less than a block away from the Rosslyn Metro Station (Blue/Orange/Silver Line). It is also less than 4 miles from the Ronald Reagan Airport (DCA).

To book, visit this custom group rate link.

Or you can call (888) 421-1442 or (402) 592-6464 and refer to the group and meeting name to make a reservation.

All reservations must be guaranteed with either a credit card or an advance deposit.

Hampton Inn & Suites
Alexandria Old Town
5821 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, Virginia 22303

Event Title: Congressional Award
Rooms are available from Wednesday, June 19 to Sunday, June 23, 2019.
The daily rate for our group varies depending on the room type. For a King Studio Suite the rate per night is $179.00, for a King with Sofa the rate per night is $159.00, and for a Double Queen Room the rate per night is $159.00. All reservations must be made by May 20, 2019.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Alexandria Old Town Hotel is located 3.5 miles from National Harbor, Maryland and the new MGM Casino, and is only five minutes from the new Tanger Outlet Mall and the Gaylord Convention Center. The Hotel provides a courtesy 24-hour shuttle to the Huntington Metro Station (Yellow Line), Historic Old Town Alexandria, and the Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA). In addition, the Hotel provides free parking, a free Hot “Make It Hampton” Breakfast Bar each morning, and free high-speed internet.

To book, visit this custom group rate link.

If you have any trouble, please call the hotel at (703) 329-1400 and note our event title and group name.

All reservations must be guaranteed with either a credit card or an advance deposit.

The Westin Crystal City
1800 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Event Title: 2019 Congressional Award Gold Medal
Rooms are available from Wednesday, June 19 to Sunday, June 22, 2019.
The daily rate for our group is $194.00 per night for a Run of House Traditional Room. All reservations must be made by May 18, 2019.

The Westin Crystal City is just minutes from Washington, D.C. It sits adjacent to the Crystal City Metro Station (Yellow/Blue Line), and the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is just a mile away. In addition, it is just blocks from the Crystal City Shops with over 200 stores and restaurants.

To book, visit this custom group rate link.

All reservations must be guaranteed with either a credit card or an advance deposit.

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