Prospective Participants

“I am not yet registered, but I want to learn more!”

Find resources below for prospective participants - those who have not yet registered for The Congressional Award but are considering taking on the challenge.

Please note that you cannot count any activities completed prior to your registration.

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The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. Our Foundation remains Congress’ only charity.

The program is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive.

Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old. They are eligible to submit activities starting at 14 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday.

Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

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Earning The Congressional 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.

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 after registering for the program.


Hear from Award Medalists

You can earn The Congressional Award.

Regardless of your situation, you can earn The Congressional Award. 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.



Register 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.

Sign up for a Submittable account, the Award online submission website.

Choose An Advisor. Work with your Advisor to:

  • Sign up for a Submittable account, if you do not already;
  • Study the program guidelines in the Program Book;
  • Develop your goals;
  • Choose activities to accomplish your goals.
  • Once your Advisor has approved your goals, you may begin working to achieve them.
  • View our virtual exploration accommodation.

Preview the hour + month requirements

Work at your own pace. There are no deadlines. Record your achievements using our optional Congressional Award Workbook in the meantime.

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. On Submittable, you can send validators an email notification to digitally validate your activities.

When finished with the required hours for this level, complete all parts of your Record Book and ask your Advisor to sign. On Submittable, you can send your Advisor an an email notification to digitally approve your Submittable book. Your Advisor’s signature will certify that your goals were met in each of the four program areas.

Submitting via E-Mail or Mail: Please contact your Program Manager if you are not able to submit your record book digitally on Submittable and need an accommodation.

Once your submission is approved, your status will be updated on Submittable and you will receive a letter from the Congressional Award.

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. at the Gold Medal Ceremony.


If we have any questions or need additional information during the review process, you will receive a revision email notification from your Program Manager.

Once the requested revisions are updated on Submittable, the Program Manager can approve your submission. 

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. Record your next level on Submittable.

Download the Program Book.

For the most in-depth look at the program from start to finish.

Gain inspiration for Activities

Visit the activities page to read guidelines and activity examples to start your goal setting on the right track. 

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