Initiatives

The Congressional Award’s National Office undertakes long-term campaigns to address challenges brought on by current events and highlights trends in our students’ interests.

These campaigns can involve the creation of materials for participants through outside partners or the creation of additional programming for students who meet certain criteria through their activities.

These campaigns can involve the creation of materials for participants through outside partners or the creation of additional programming for students who meet certain criteria through their activities.

Program Initiatives

Diversity Equity & Inclusion

The Congressional Award has made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through a variety of initiatives. In its efforts to expand the reach of the program and its mission, the Foundation has launched the Diversity Ambassadors Program (CADA). The purpose of CADA is to provide outreach and support on a local level in order to ensure The Congressional Award is both accessible to and inclusive of youth from all backgrounds.

The Congressional Award’s Financial Literacy Modules and Mental Health Awareness Webinars also fall under the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. In addition, Staff and Board members have attended university-level trainings in D, E, & I to expand our knowledge and ensure our efforts are backed by expertise and real-world experiences.

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Science, Technology Engineering and Math

The Congressional Award STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Star is the oldest ongoing campaign. Through a partnership with Bayer, The Congressional Award aims to stoke passion for science and math, at an age when many young people lose interest in them. The initiative exposes students to STEM-related concepts as well as STEM in everyday life—helping to make STEM more approachable.

Gold Medalists who complete at least one STEM activity over the course of their time in the program are eligible to be STEM Stars. A reception is held every year in DC the same day as the Gold Medal ceremony to honor their achievements. Students are given the opportunity to hear from STEM-focused speakers and get additional exposure to experts and professionals in this important field.

FINANCIAL LITERACY

The Congressional Award is excited to partner with Intuit and EverFi to create tools to teach financial literacy to any student who is interested in learning. Our team had worked with these partners to provide resources on a variety of financial topics including credit, budgeting, and many more. Participants can use these resources to expand their knowledge about how to use their financial resources no matter what background they bring to the table. All of these resources can be submitted in the Personal Development section of the Award and are free to use here.

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Pathways to Career

The Congressional Award has launched the CAF Career Center – a hub for youth participants to find internship and career opportunities from corporate partners, helpful one-pagers on how to market themselves to potential employers, alumni highlights, and insights from experts in the business community. 

To coincide with the release of the CAF Career Center, The Congressional Award put on a Pathways to Career Webinar featuring elected officials and top professionals who gave insight about career success, best practices throughout the hiring process, and putting your best foot forward in a new job.

MENTAL HEALTH FOR TEENS

The Congressional Award has teamed up with both Otsuka and Ford Motor Company Fund to conduct free, interactive, virtual mental health workshops for young people in response to the impact on teens during the pandemic. The series of workshops has targeted students in Detroit, MI, Houston, TX, Kansas City, MO, and Tacoma, WA and on the national scale.

Each workshop brought together mental health professionals, middle school and high school students, and Members of Congress to discuss the importance of taking care of one’s mental health and ending the stigma around treating mental illness.

CAFÉ RADIO POCAST

The Congressional Award Foundation is partnering with DC Radio and Eliot-Hine Middle School for DC youth to listen and learn more about the program and gain career pathway insights. This student run podcast interviews Congressional Award alumni and former Award medalists about their careers and how participating in the Award changed their lives.

Tune in on Saturday mornings at 11:30 A.M. ET from August 21 – October 2, 2021. The radio podcast can be listened or streamed at DC Radio 96.3HD4, DCRADIO.GOV, or the DC Radio app.

Connecting students with seniors

The Congressional Award Foundation has partnered with Charter Communications to provide virtual opportunities for Congressional Award participants to engage with senior citizens across the nation.  This initiative will explore ways for our students to engage with another generation, strengthen communication skills, build confidence, and develop important connections.

Together with Charter Communications, the Congressional Award is creating a virtual “Students Connecting with Seniors” Toolkit with resources to empower young people to connect with older adults nation-wide.

covid-19: accommodations

The Congressional Award has made accommodations for participants in this uncertain time when it has become increasingly difficult to complete Congressional Award activities.  Our program is designed to be flexible for participants and our team remains available for you as we navigate this uncharted territory together.

Please note that these accommodations will be upheld through December 31, 2021.

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