2015: A Year In Review

2015 marked the 36th year since Public Law 96-114, the Congressional Award Act, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. The effort was led by the late Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) and Representative James J. Howard (D-NJ) and has prospered as a bipartisan effort to recognize achievement and volunteerism in America’s youth. As a result, over 7.4 million hours of voluntary public service have been contributed to communities nationwide. We’d like to thank our supporters, both past and present, for making a positive difference in the lives of our nation’s young people.

During the past year, over 40,000 participants from all 50 states and territories were actively pursuing a Congressional Award. Over 4,000 new participants enrolled in the program and the top areas of growth included the southernmost tip of Texas; Upstate New York; Greater New York City; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Louisville, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas. 535 Members of Congress helped to present over 6,000 awards to young people. Participants gave back to their communities with 644,000 hours of voluntary public service and advanced themselves through 311,00 hours of personal development and 255,000 hours of physical fitness activities.


In addition to the scores of local, regional, and state medal presentations – our national event calendar was as busy and bountiful as ever.

Recognition Dinner (June 16)
Servant leaders in the public & private sectors joined hundreds of Gold Medalists and family members to celebrate acts of initiative, service, and achievement. D.C. personality Tommy McFly lent a helping hand as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Members of Congress like Board Member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX18), Board Member Rep. Richard Hudson (NC08), Rep. James Clyburn (SC06), Rep. Joe Barton (TX06), and Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA13) were on hand to recognize the evening’s honorees. NBA guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards joined in the celebration as well.

Gold Medal Ceremony (June 17)
267 Gold Medalists were recognized in our nation’s capital for earning the pinnacle of the program. Medalists had the fortune of meeting their members of Congress and receive inspiring accounts from the likes of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Steve Culbertson (CEO, Youth Service America, Chip Reid (CBS News), & Andrea Roane (WUSA9).

Golf Classic (July 27)
The 21st annual event held at the beautiful TPC Potomac Golf Course hosted 120 golfers this year. Current and former members of Congress, professional athletes, and business leaders came together for a fun day on the links – all for the purpose of raising awareness and funds for the development of our program.

Charity Poker Tournament (September 16)
The 10th annual tournament provided an outlet for poker enthusiasts across the spectrum to showcase their skills to benefit the program. Attendees included members of Congress, Chiefs of Staff, poker pros, and friends of the program. World Series of Poker professionals Dennis Phillips and Greg Raymer attended to support the program.

Texas State Dinner (September 29)
Each year we host state dinners and receptions on a rotating basis to celebrate the program activity in that particular state and to forge new partnerships. This year, the Texas congressional delegation helped to honor Senator Phil Gramm and Ambassador Ron Kirk for promoting civic engagement.

Horizon Award | Mr. Steve Pemberton (Chief Diversity Officer, Walgreens)
A special recognition presented to individuals from the private sectors who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions. These honorees have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.

Inspiration Award | Mrs. Mary Rodgers (Abington, PA)
This award is given each year to an outstanding Congressional Award Advisor. The leadership and service provided to youth participants by each Inspiration Awardee has been just that, an inspiration.

Wallop Howard Leadership Award | Honorable John Dingell, Honorable Phil Gramm, & Ambassador Ron Kirk
This honor is presented to leaders in the public sector who have displayed outstanding commitment to improving the lives of our nation’s young people and providing critical support in the Foundation’s efforts to make the Congressional Award a national opportunity.

The program is able to operate year after year thanks to the charitable contributions of businesses, individuals, and groups alike. We would like to especially thank those that have graciously contributed at the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Premier Membership Levels. Learn more about becoming a donor.