Concord, NC — On Thursday, August 16, 2018, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) and Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) hosted the 2018 North Carolina Congressional Award Ceremony & 4-H Kick-Off.
The event recognized youth for setting goals that positively impacted their community and challenged themselves personally. Each Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist logged hundreds of hours in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Charlotte Motor Speedway served as the host venue, granting medalists and their guests special access to The Speedway Club event space.
Aric Almirola, NASCAR driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing, served as keynote speaker.
The ceremony was also a strategic effort to showcase the Foundation’s partnership with 4-H, a youth-centric organization with a strong footprint in the Tar Heel State.
Keeping with the spirit of the two youth development programs, the event was capped off with a service project. Youth participants assembled hundreds of hygiene kits to be delivered to deployed U.S. military service members.
Mike Skahill, Vice President of Government Affairs at Smithfield Foods and Congressional Award Foundation board member, delivered the congratulatory remarks on behalf of event sponsor, Smithfield Foods.
“Smithfield Foods is proud to once again support The Congressional Award, rewarding tomorrow’s leaders for their dedication to public service and personal growth,” said Skahill. “We share the same values of integrity and accountability and are strongly committed to practicing these principles each day across our company and fostering the same commitment through future generations.”
Before the presentation of medals, Congresswoman Adams and Congressman Hudson spoke directly to the award recipients.
“These young men and women are truly inspirational leaders and I am honored to be part of this program,” stated Congressman Hudson. As a member of The Congressional Award’s Board of Directors, I am proud to recognize their achievements and encourage others to participate in the program. I look forward to hearing about their continued success in the future.”
“I’m privileged to present The Congressional Award to the young North Carolinians who earned this honor in 2018, and I am inspired by their dedication to themselves, our state, and our nation.” said Congresswoman Adams. “Each of these young leaders’ commitment to personal development and public service is positively impacting communities across the Tar Heel state. I know that the future of our democracy is bright.”
This year’s ceremony honored 78 Medalists across the state who collectively contributed over 70,000 hours of voluntary public service. North Carolina remains one of the most active states in The Congressional Award’s portfolio, with the Charlotte metropolitan area ranking within the top 10 fastest growing regions.
A copy of the ceremony program and list of Congressional Award recipients can be found here.
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23.
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