Five North Carolina Members of Congress Celebrate Youth Achievement in Virtual Award Ceremony

North Carolina – December 14, 2020Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09), Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05), and Congressional Award Board Member, Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08), today recognized youth achievement in the Tar Heel State during the first-ever virtual awards ceremony held by the Congressional Award Foundation.

Members of Congress, Medalists, and guests gather via Zoom to participate in the ceremony.

The 2020 Virtual North Carolina Statewide Ceremony honored 59 youth across the state for personal goal-setting and volunteerism in their communities. The shift to a virtual format allowed more Members of Congress to attend than ever before and provided them with the chance to personally congratulate their young constituents across the state.

Each youth recipient set and achieved goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. This year’s group contributed 23,712 hours of service to their communities, an average of 402 hours per medalist.

“I wish we could all be together in-person to honor your accomplishments during this challenging time. However, I know our future is bright because of your efforts,” stated Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08). “You are all the best of our country, and I’m thankful for your work to make your communities and our country better.”

Following Congressman Hudson was his co-host for the event, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), who commended the students for their efforts amidst the pandemic. “The strength you have displayed in earning this award during this period of adversity is immense and admirable.” She continued with words of encouragement stating, “Don’t stop here. Take the lessons you’ve learned on your Congressional Award journey and apply them to building a better and brighter future.”

The ceremony was made possible by title sponsor, Smithfield Foods.

“Smithfield Foods’ sustained support of The Congressional Award reflects our commitment to the same values that the Award upholds,” said Mike Skahill, Vice President of Government Affairs at Smithfield Foods and Congressional Award Foundation board member. “Each of the Congressional Award recipients dedicates themselves in service to their local communities, a parallel to the importance we place on supporting our neighbors in the communities we call home. We are proud to support all of these efforts that help build a stronger tomorrow for everyone.”

The Congressional Award aims to foster principles of good citizenship and equip the next generation of leaders with tools to succeed. The program offers a superlative experience to include on resumes and college applications and makes goal-setting and service to others a habit for the youth who earn an Award. In recent months, The Congressional Award has shifted its priority to offer virtual programming for its participants and encourages youth to work on their goals in safe ways.

“While virtual programming has been a challenging adjustment, we are excited that we can use the increased accessibility of these virtual spaces to reach more students, more Members of Congress, and provide more opportunities for youth despite the obstacle of staying at home.” stated Erica Heyse, National Director of The Congressional Award Foundation.

Kayla Anderson of Harrisburg, NC was one of the Silver Medalists presented at the ceremony.

Kayla Anderson displays her Congressional Award Bronze and Silver Medals.

“As I look back on these past two years of participating in The Congressional Award, I can say that my participation was very rewarding. It allowed me to become more involved in my community and to invest in myself. This Award is a symbol of my all-around growth.” said Anderson.

A video recording of the event is available to view.

A copy of the ceremony program is available to view and download.

These, along with the full listing of medalists and their hometowns can be found on our website.

About
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.

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North Carolina Student Leaders Recognized by Congress for Goalsetting and Volunteer Efforts

Concord, NC (August 12, 2019) — Today, U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) co-hosted the 2019 North Carolina Congressional Award Ceremony.

65 youth from across the state were presented with The Congressional Award, Congress’ highest honor for youth. Each recipient challenged themselves personally and engaged with their communities by setting goals in four program areas – Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

Collectively, the students contributed a staggering 14,556 hours of volunteerism to communities near and far.

Congresswoman Adams and Congressman Hudson presented the awards on behalf of the United States Congress and lauded the recipients for taking initiative and considering others in their decision-making.

“As a member of The Congressional Award’s Board of Directors, I am proud to celebrate our state’s youth and their incredible achievements,” said Congressman Richard Hudson. “I was honored to help recognize and congratulate these young men and women for their success and service to our community. They are the leaders of tomorrow.”

“It is my honor and privilege to present The Congressional Award to the promising young North Carolinians who earned this recognition in 2019,” said Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. “Each of these young leaders’ dedication to personal development and public service is positively impacting communities across North Carolina. It is because of committed young people like this year’s award recipients that I know the future of our democracy is bright.”

The event was made possible by the generosity and leadership of Smithfield Foods, Inc., a global consumer packaged goods and protein company that employs more than 10,000 individuals throughout North Carolina. Smithfield has been involved with The Congressional Award since 2015, and returns this year as the Title Sponsor of the 2019 North Carolina Congressional Award Ceremony. The company maintains a robust sustainability program that includes a dedicated focus on supporting the communities where its employees live and work through engagement, volunteerism, and financial support.

“Smithfield Foods’ ongoing support of The Congressional Award reflects our commitment to the same values that the Award upholds,” said Mike Skahill, Vice President of Government Affairs at Smithfield Foods and Congressional Award Foundation board member. “Each of the Congressional Award recipients dedicates themselves in service to their local communities, a parallel to the importance we place on supporting our neighbors in the communities we call home. We are proud to support all of these efforts that help build a stronger tomorrow for everyone.”

Charlotte Motor Speedway served as the host venue and granted awardees and guests special access to facilities, including The Speedway Club and racetrack.

Aric Almirola, NASCAR driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing, served as keynote speaker and local WSOC-TV Anchor Allison Latos volunteered her time as emcee.

North Carolina remains one of the most dynamic states in The Congressional Award’s portfolio, with the Charlotte metropolitan area ranking in the top 10 fastest growing regions. The Tar Heel State has produced 2,128 awardees all-time and there are currently 2,369 participants pursuing the award.

The ceremony program and list of Congressional Award recipients can be found here.

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.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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