The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all youth regardless of ability, circumstance, or socioeconomic status. Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace, on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals.
The Congressional Award has no minimum grade point average requirements. It accommodates young people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge.
Step 1: Register
Register online and submit your one-time $25.00 registration fee.
You only have to register for the program once, and the minimum age to register is 13 1/2 years old.
Step 2: Set Your Goals
Choose An Advisor. Work with your Advisor to:
- Study the program guidelines in the Program Book;
- Review the Record Book (writable version);
- Develop your goals;
- Choose activities to accomplish your goals.
- Once your Advisor has approved your goals, you may begin working to achieve them.
Step 3: Work Toward Your Goals
Select a Validator for each goal to:
- Certify that you satisfactorily performed the activities; and
- Sign your Record Book acknowledging that you achieved your goal in a specific program area.
When finished with the required hours for this level, complete all parts of your Record Book and ask your Advisor to sign the first page. Your Advisor’s signature will certify that your goals were met in each of the four program areas. Make a copy of the Record Book for you and your Advisor. Submit your completed Record Book and any supporting material to the Congressional Award National Office.
The Congressional Award
PO Box 77440
Washington, DC 20013
Step 4: Receive Your Award
Once your submission is approved, you will receive a letter from the Congressional Award. If we have any questions or need additional information during the review process, you will receive a revision letter from your Program Manager. Once the requested revisions are submitted, they can approve your submission. If you earned lower levels with your approval, you will receive them in the mail with your approval letter. Medals are presented locally and may take time to arrange with your local congressional office. Gold Medals are presented annually in Washington, D.C.
Step 5: Move to the Next Level
Work with your Advisor to either set new goals or plan additional activities for your current goals. Remember, you can carry the hours spent earning one award with you to the next level. You will repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 at each award level. Start working toward your next award immediately. A copy of the Record Book can be found here (writable version).