July 30, 2021 – (Washington, DC) The Congressional Award Foundation hosted its annual Gold Medal Ceremony honoring 518 youth from 42 states across the nation. Presented by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., (Otsuka), this year’s virtual event was themed “Bright Futures” and included interactive workshops with Members of Congress and industry experts on a range of topics including mental health, STEM, entrepreneurship, and government. While the topics were diverse, each session’s speakers focused on the bright future ahead, after an unprecedented year.
Kabir Nath, president and CEO, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., spoke about the crucial role we can play in being stronger advocates for mental health. “As a nation, we have a duty to foster environments for open dialogue and spur action that can alter our approach to mental health and better serve those in need. I am confident that you, the next generation of young leaders, have what it takes to keep moving these initiatives in the right direction.” Otsuka also provided each medalist with Society of Valued Minds merchandise to help keep the conversation going after the event.
In addition to live virtual workshops with Members of Congress and business leaders, medalists were personally spotlighted in a virtual procession that featured pre-recorded congratulatory messages from over 100 members of the House and Senate. Members of Congress in attendance included Senator John Barrasso (WY), Congressman David Trone (MD-06), Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03).
Paxton Baker, Chairman of the Board for The Congressional Award, kicked off the procession with a live keynote address, praising the award earners for their hard work, “The Congressional Award Gold Medal is Congress’ highest honor for youth civilians. After what you all have been through in the last year, to say that his honor is well-deserved is an understatement.”
Each Gold Medalist must complete 400 hours of voluntary public service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and conduct a 5-day, 4-night exploration trip over the course of 2 years at minimum. Medalists each submitted “I am” statements for the ceremony, reflective of their experience in the program. A few examples included “I am empowered”, “I am confident”, and “I am a better leader.” 16-year-old Yusuf Khan from Houston, TX summed up his experience with the following: “I am ready to take on the challenges of the ever-changing future in front of us…I have faith in the future.” See the full listing of all 2021 Gold Medalists 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.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.
In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging areas of mental, renal, and cardiovascular health and has additional research programs in oncology and on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.
Otsuka established a presence in the U.S. in 1973 and today its U.S. affiliates include Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI). These two companies’ 1,700 employees in the U.S. develop and commercialize medicines in the areas of mental health, nephrology, and cardiology, using cutting-edge technology to address unmet healthcare needs.
OPDC and OAPI are indirect subsidiaries of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Otsuka group of companies employed 47,000 people worldwide and had consolidated sales of approximately USD 13.3 billion in 2020.
All Otsuka stories start by taking the road less traveled. Learn more about Otsuka in the U.S. at www.otsuka-us.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OtsukaUS. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s global website is accessible at www.otsuka.co.jp/en/.
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