The Congressional Award Welcomes New Board Members

Washington, DC (July 11, 2019) —The Congressional Award Foundation is pleased to announce the election of Jim Dunn and Mike Kelley to the National Board of Directors and Skip Braziel, Sanyin Siang, and Bruce Walker to the Advisory Board of Directors.

“These individuals bring a wealth of experience in their fields and will be tremendous assets to our Foundation as we further our mission of recognizing youth achievement across the nation,” said Paxton K. Baker, Chairman of The Congressional Award National Board of Directors.

Skip Braziel is Vice President of State Regulation and Legislation for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). He oversees state legislative and regulatory advocacy and leads a team of government relations professionals providing strategic and tactical support to state CPA societies.

Skip has over 20 years of experience advocating, coalition building, and problem solving.

Prior to AICPA, Skip served as Assistant Vice President, State Government Relations for MetLife and Vice President and Community Relationship Officer at JPMorgan Chase in Chicago.

Jim Dunn, PhD, DHA, FACHE is Executive Vice President and System Chief Human Resources Officer for Atrium Health, one of the most comprehensive and highly integrated not-for-profit healthcare systems in the nation.

Dunn is a national expert in culture, diversity and inclusion, and the employee experience.

Previously, Dunn served as Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer for Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, Texas; Human Resources and Learning Executive for the Cleveland Clinic; Chief Learning Officer for Texas Health Resources; and National Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Retention Strategies for the American Cancer Society.

Mike Kelley serves as Vice President – External Affairs for YRC Worldwide. He is responsible for the promotion and protection of YRCW interests before trade associations and with legislative and regulatory officials at the local, state, and federal level.

His experience includes positions at the Kansas Motor Carriers Association and the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate as a Congressional Aide. He has served in several leadership positions with the American Trucking Associations including chairing three different policy committees and co-chairing two industry task forces.

Sanyin Siang is the founding Executive Director of the Coach K Leadership and Ethics Center (COLE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a professor at its Pratt School of Engineering.

The COLE center is a leadership laboratory with programming for all of Duke’s Daytime MBA students and convenes think tank gatherings across sectors to explore today’s complex leadership challenges and create positive societal impact.

Sanyin’s mission in life is to enable greatness in others as an educator, parent, mentor, author, CEO coach, and advisor.

Bruce Walker serves as Associate Director – Television & Entertainment Division for the D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment. Under the direction of the Mayor’s office, the agency serves as the media platform for government agencies and community awareness.

Mr. Walker is a talented senior level executive who began his career at Motown Records and rose quickly to become Senior Vice President of Artists & Repertoire and General Manager of its jazz label MoJazz.

Bruce helped in the expansion of DreamWorks SKG’s music division as General Manager, executive produced the first BET Awards Red Carpet special, and eventually co-founded his own production company, B-Sharp Records and Entertainment.

Learn more about the Board of Directors here.

About
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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Gail Miller Selected as Horizon Award Recipient

Washington, DC (May 12, 2019)  — The Congressional Award Foundation will honor Gail Miller with the Horizon Award at the annual Gold Medal Ceremony on Capitol Hill on June 20, 2019.

Photo: Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

A special recognition from the Joint Leadership Commission of The Congressional Award Foundation and its Board of Directors, the Horizon Award recognizes individuals from the private sector who “have worked to expand opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions.”

Previous recipients include Drew Brees, America Ferrera, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bob Lanier, Wynton Marsalis, Cal Ripken, Jr., Pat and Emmitt Smith, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Gail embodies the spirit of this award by demonstrating thought for others in her decision-making and using her influence to shape communities for the better,” said Paxton K. Baker, Chairman of The Congressional Award National Board of Directors. “Gail’s story is about finding true individuality and her life’s work serves as an extraordinary example for our nation’s youth, particularly young women.”

Most would recognize the late Larry H. (d. 2009) and Gail Miller for establishing one of the largest privately-owned group of companies in the western United States, with ownership of over 60 car dealerships, the Utah Jazz, Megaplex Theatres, and more.

But in the decade following Larry’s passing, Gail has shown the importance of resolve and drive and been a source of inspiration for many seeking to find their identity.

In April 2018, Gail published the book “Courage to Be You: Inspiring Lessons from an Unexpected Journey.”

The book’s central focus is about finding purpose. Gail shares personal anecdotes about the role faith played in shaping her as a person, the strength of women, and how she measures wealth.

“The success and the money and the worldly things that we have are not where I count my wealth. My wealth is counted in relationships, being able to provide jobs for people where they can support their family and live good lives. Those are the things that really drove us,” stated Gail in a March 2018 interview with Deseret News.

Today, Gail Miller is the owner of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Larry H. Miller Management Corporation. Gail also presides over the Larry H. Miller Education Foundation and the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation, which support charitable, educational, and humanitarian causes.

Learn more about the Horizon Award here.

About
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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Reps. Allred, Granger, Veasey Host Texas Ceremony, Announce Fort Worth ISD Initiative

Congressional Awardees pose outside of the Dallas Museum of Art with U.S. Representatives Colin Allred, Kay Granger, and Marc Veasey.

Dallas, TX — On Saturday, May 4, 2019, Members of the Texas congressional delegation hosted a statewide Congressional Award ceremony and introduced a new initiative between Congress’ award program for youth and the Fort Worth Independent School District.

The Dallas Museum of Art served as the host venue, welcoming awardees and their guests to a reception and award ceremony.

The event was made possible by the generosity of partners like American Airlines, G2 Secure Staff, Lockheed Martin, Magdaleno Leadership Institute, and Mr. Jorge Baldor.

In addition to honoring youth recipients for personal goal-setting and community service, the event served as a launch for The Congressional Award’s partnership with the Fort Worth Independent School District. The two organizations unveiled their plan to equip North Texas teens with tangible skills and resources necessary to bridge the gap between classroom success and career preparation.

Read more about the FWISD partnership here.

Left to Right: Julie Gostic of G2 Secure Staff, Congressional Award Chairman Paxton Baker, Congresswoman Kay Granger, Gold Medalist siblings Raheem and Rehman Memon, Congressman Colin Allred, Congressman Marc Veasey.

“Over four decades, The Congressional Award program has displayed an unparalleled ability to empower young adults to prepare for life outside the classroom,” said Congressman Marc Veasey. “Regardless of ability, circumstance, or socioeconomic status, The Congressional Award recognizes the effort, initiative, and achievement students make.

The Foundation also recognized Texas A&M University assistant professor Dr. Hector Rivera with the Education Champion Award for his contributions to teaching, public service, and guiding students to achieve excellence.

Illustrating the significance of community and partnership, Congressional Award Board Member and motivational speaker Mateo Magdaleno reminded awardees that it takes a village to achieve personal success. “Although we stand as one person, we must never forget we are representing thousands of people – entire communities, families that have supported you, and educators who have served as your mentors.”

Congressional Awardees and guests look on as the ceremony unfolds.

This year’s ceremony honored 89 recipients across the Lone Star State. Texas remains one of the most active in The Congressional Award’s portfolio with 3,304 awardees all-time, 80,100 service hours in 2018 (8% of national total), and 4,213 current participants (ranked 2nd in number of participants, only trailing California).

The ceremony program and list of Congressional Award recipients can be found here.

Free, high resolution photos are available to view and download here.

About
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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The Congressional Award, Fort Worth ISD to Provide ‘Pathway to Career’ for Texas Teens

Washington, DC (April 24, 2019)Fort Worth Independent School District and The Congressional Award Foundation strengthened their commitment to student leaders by launching a new effort to grow tomorrow’s leaders, today.


The two organizations announced today a regional collaboration, which will address the need to prepare tomorrow’s workforce with tangible skills and attributes necessary to excel in a classroom setting and beyond.

“Our purpose in education is not only to teach our students to excel in school but to build their character through service to others. We are honored to partner with The Congressional Award to help our students thrive,” said Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent.

The partnership will initially take shape with the first official Congressional Award designated school, which has been determined to be the World Languages Institute (WLI) located in Fort Worth.

In working with national, state, and local supporters, this partnership will have a sharp focus on leveraging enrichment opportunities for students like internships, intergenerational interactions, job training, and exploration of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The new partners are optimistic that exposure to different industries and populations will ignite students’ passions and interests.

“Our program aims to foster leadership, public service, arts and culture, and healthy communities through youth empowerment,” said Erica Heyse, National Director for The Congressional Award Foundation. “Working with an educational leader like Fort Worth ISD will allow students to utilize The Congressional Award as a pathway to a career. It’s important for us to keep students motivated and connected to their community and to provide that extra incentive to graduate from high school and find job placement.”

Lending bi-partisan congressional support to the North Texas initiative are United States Representatives Kay Granger (TX-12) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).

“It is an honor to have the first Congressional Award school in Fort Worth. I am proud to be part of this bipartisan effort to help our children with the preparation and skills they need to be successful in life. As a former teacher, I know first-hand how important efforts like this can be in a student’s development,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger.

“Over four decades, The Congressional Award program has displayed an unparalleled ability to empower young adults to prepare for life outside the classroom,” said Fort Worth native Congressman Marc Veasey. “Regardless of ability, circumstance, or socioeconomic status, The Congressional Award recognizes the effort, initiative, and achievement students make. I’m excited and honored that the Fort Worth ISD will host the first Congressional Award School providing our students with access to fellowships, job training, and on-site future employment opportunities with Dallas-Fort Worth companies. This is key to exposing our students to resources they may never have had access to and to show them they have the tools and skills to achieve their dream job.”

Partnership Launch
The Congressional Award and Fort Worth ISD will host a kick-off event on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the Dallas Museum of Art, which will include a reception with remarks from state and local officials and an award presentation for Congressional Award recipients in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

The kick-off will also recognize partners who remain an integral part of the program’s success locally, including the presentation of The Congressional Award’s 2019 Education Champion Award to Dr. Hector Rivera, associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University.

“This award symbolizes the commitment of the Texas A&M University to diversity and community development through the support of its faculty,” said Dr. Rivera. “It also embodies the collaboration with multiple partners (districts, non-profits, and private sector) who have played a key role at improving the educational experience for all children in Texas and beyond. It is an honor to receive this award with an understanding that it takes many partners and collaborators, with a common vision, to achieve what we have achieved together.”

About The Congressional Award
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.

About Fort Worth Independent School District
With more than 86,000 students in 83 elementary schools, 29 middle schools and 6th grade centers, 18 high schools, and 16 other campuses, Fort Worth ISD enjoys a diverse student population and strong community partnerships. Under the leadership of the superintendent and the Board of Education, the District is undergoing a series of initiatives that will redesign, transform, and revitalize Fort Worth ISD Schools. Fort Worth ISD’s mission is “preparing ALL students for success in college, career, and community leadership.”

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Senator Wyden Presents The Congressional Award, Highlights Student Creativity in STEM

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden provides remarks to Congressional Awardees and guests.

Portland, OR — The inaugural Oregon Statewide Congressional Award Ceremony took place on Friday, April 12, 2019 at KinderCare Learning Centers Corporate Offices in Portland, Oregon.

United States Senator Ron Wyden recognized student leaders with Congressional Award Medals and offered a Q&A for constituents to address today’s most pressing issues and local opportunities.

“I am incredibly inspired by these amazing young Oregonians and the outstanding public service they have provided in our state,” Wyden said. “Each richly deserves their Congressional Awards and I thank The Congressional Award program for recognizing them and so many other young people around the country working hard to make their communities better.”

Senator Wyden presents Caleb Jacobson with the Bronze Medal.

KinderCare Education’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Wyatt, and Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and Congressional Award Board Member, Kelsey Troy, were on hand to support the youth honorees and reinforce their organization’s mission to provide quality early education.

Prior to the award ceremony, Senator Wyden traversed the city to participate in events that displayed the latest progress in student-led STEM activities. He served as a special guest at the Intel Northwest Science Expo hosted by Portland State University as well as a science experiment with children and their teachers at KinderCare in downtown Portland.

Bronze Medalist Quinn McElroy-Fuchs with Senator Wyden, The Congressional Award’s Erica Heyse, and KinderCare’s Tom Wyatt and Kelsey Troy.

Quinn McElroy-Fuchs earned not only The Congressional Award Silver Medal but was also presented with a STEM Star for creating Operation Tooth Fairy, a Girl Scout Gold Award project that brings dental care information and dental supplies to low-income families in the Greater Portland area.

“The Congressional Award has really taught me about the importance of goal setting. Even if a goal seems out of reach if you put the time and effort in to work at it piece by piece, you will be surprised by the impact you can make,” said Quinn.

By collaborating with partners like KinderCare, The Congressional Award STEM Stars Initiative aims to stoke passion for science and math and help make STEM more approachable. Priorities include educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace.

Bronze Medalist Aayush Bhatt shares his Congressional Award story.

Oregon Congressional Award Recipients:
Martin Berger of Portland (Silver Medal)
Aayush Bhatt of Beaverton (Bronze Medal)
Akash Bindalof Beaverton (Bronze Medal)
Caleb Jacobson of Portland (Bronze Medal)
Rachel Luther of Hood River (Gold Medal)
Quinn McElroy-Fuchs of Portland (Silver Medal)
Patrick Townsend of Portland (Gold Medal)
Timothy Townsend of Portland (Silver Medal)

About
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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