Freedom Tansley

How did you earn The Congressional Award?

Voluntary Public Service: I worked within the Boy Scouts of America and the Boys and Girls Club of America to lead and participate in many different service projects and activities. Some interesting fields that I volunteered in included conservation, environmental education, waste management and recycling, community support, and working with vulnerable populations.

Personal Development: I studied poultry keeping and took care of ducks and chickens. The birds became part of my family and it was amazing to learn about what it takes to keep them healthy and thriving.

Personal Fitness: I trained hard to lower my 5k cross country time, both in and out of my organized season. By the end of it, even the teachers and students who hadn’t met me knew me as “The Runner!” The motivation from the award led me to become the captain of my team, and I still run every day!

Expedition: I led a canoe expedition from the town of Thetford to the city of Cambridge in England. The trip took 5 days, during which my team was entirely self-sufficient. The environment we canoed through was a remote, flat wilderness called “fenland,” and it was exciting to explore. My sunburn was so painful, but it was an amazing experience!

What are your current ambitions?

My ambition is to become a powerful force for good in society. I have a passion for leadership and public service, and I look forward to a life of putting this to good use. Whether this be through politics, nonprofit leadership, scouting, or something I haven’t discovered yet, I know that I will always strive to make a difference. At this time, education is very important to me. I love attending university and hope to earn a masters or doctorate degree. I am grateful for all the opportunities that God has given me, and I can’t wait to see where my adventures will take me next!

Where do you find your motivation?

Seeing the tangible impact of my actions is by far the biggest motivator in my life. When I see a young scout that I mentor earn their Eagle Scout rank, or when I speak in front of thousands of people, I find my motivation when I see the positive effects of my influence. Knowing that I took an action which improved the lives or experiences of others is a feeling like no other. Public service takes many forms and can range from little, unseen acts of kindness to creating positive change for millions of people. Every action, big or small, that makes a difference motivates me to keep going. I hope to use this motivation for good!

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

-St. Francis de Sales

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