Extraordinary Youth Achievements Recognized by Congress at the 2023 Gold Medal Summit in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia, (June 28, 2023) – The 2023 Gold Medal Summit, hosted by The Congressional Award Foundation, concluded with great success in the vibrant city of Washington, D.C. from June 20 – June 22, 2023. This prestigious event brought together exceptional young individuals who had earned the esteemed Congressional Award Gold Medal, showcasing their outstanding accomplishments and commitment to community service.

The Congressional Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress upon youth, recognizing the remarkable initiative, service, and achievement demonstrated by these exceptional medalists. As the first in-person Gold Medal celebration since 2019, The 2023 Gold Medal Summit served as a platform to celebrate their efforts and inspire the next generation of leaders.

During the event, Gold Medalists had the unique opportunity to meet and engage with Members of Congress, fostering a deeper understanding and connection between these exceptional youth leaders and their elected representatives. Over 100 individual meetings with members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate took place, providing a platform for meaningful dialogue and enabling participants to discuss important issues and share their personal experiences.

L to R: Veronica Kushner (RI), Nicholas Pollock (NC), Henry Odland (NC), Nilan Nandish (MI), Sarina Horner (NC), Yasmin Horner (NC), Emily Froelich (NC), and Madeline Pollock (NC)
L to R: Piya Scielzo, Nico Biabani, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), and Joseph Stocker – Maryland Gold Medalists meet with their Representative.

A notable highlight of the Summit was the lineup of dynamic panel discussions on key topics.  In collaboration with the Congressional Award’s STEM Stars initiative partner, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the “STEM Education” panel focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The “Service & Advocacy” panel highlighted the significance of community service and advocacy efforts in driving positive change. The “Women Empowerment” panel explored the role of women leaders in society and emphasized the importance of gender equality. Lastly, the “Pathway to Career” panel provided insights and guidance on building successful careers and pursuing meaningful professional pathways.

L to R: Dr. Larry Green (Aesthetic & Dermatology Center), Dr. Linda Mitchell (Mississippi State University), Shetal Vyas (Ferring Pharmaceuticals), and Mike Kincaid (NASA) speak on the STEM panel.
Gold Medalists, parents & guests, Congressional Award Board Members, Members of Congress, speakers from NASA, the U.S. Vice President’s office, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals gather for celebratory dinner in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

In addition to the engaging panel discussions, the Gold Medalists had the privilege of networking with distinguished board members and industry leaders who shared their passion for community service and personal development. These connections sparked valuable insights and inspired participants to further their own initiatives.

“The 2023 Gold Medal Summit was an incredible celebration of the exceptional achievements of our Congressional Award Gold Medalists from across the country,” said Paxton Baker, Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Congressional Award. “We witnessed firsthand the transformative power of youth leadership and their commitment to making a positive difference in society. The Summit provided a platform for recognition, inspiration, and networking that will propel these young leaders to even greater heights.”

For media inquiries or to request interviews with Congressional Award Gold Medalists, please contact:

Bethie Woodall | Communications Director | woodall@congressionalaward.org


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. To learn more about The Congressional Award please visit www.congressionalward.org.

Photos: Day 1 (Nationals On-Field Photo + Welcome Reception) | Day 2 (Congressional Meetings, Panels, and Dinner) | Day 3 (Wrap-Up Reception)

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