The Congressional Award Partners with Deanwood Recreation Center to Launch Student Mentorship Program

Program Targeted Toward Students of Color Offers Mentorship from Board Members, Civic and Industry Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8, 2020 — The Congressional Award Foundation (CAF) has partnered with the Deanwood Recreation Center in Washington, DC to launch a special pilot mentorship program as a part of the Foundation’s latest initiative to reach more students of color. The program, designed to expose students to career and educational opportunities, will engage a number of notable speakers including Dr. Hakim Lucas, President, Virginia Union University; hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh; Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton; and Chairman of the Board Paxton Baker, Minority Owner of the Washington Nationals as mentors.

“Our partnership with the Congressional Award Foundation offers students a wonderful opportunity to learn the necessary skills to advocate for their communities, as well as tools for personal and professional development. I’m more than honored to be a part of this program and to give back to the same community that taught me so much,” said Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Students participating in the mentorship program come from the Deanwood Radio Broadcast Youth Journalism program. Created in 2016, the journalism program educates young adults from Washington, DC’s Wards 7 and 8 about the importance of broadcast journalism and the use of media advocacy to benefit their communities. Under the leadership of Mr. Salih Williams, the program has helped send over 20 students to college to major in mass communications or broadcast journalism.

“We’re thrilled that Deanwood was selected to pilot this experience. It will make an incredible impact on the course of these students’ lives,” according to Williams.

As a part of the partnership, students will engage directly with CAF Board members and other civic and industry leaders for mentorship and networking opportunities. In addition, all students set personally challenging goals that they will work to achieve through the Congressional Award program. Upon completion, students will be awarded their Congressional Award Certificates and Medals by Representative Norton.

The vision of the CAF Board is to engage students from communities nationwide to participate in the mentorship program; an initial focus will be placed on Charlotte, Baltimore, Detroit and Houston communities.

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

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Jordan Lindsey, The Congressional Award