Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) recently recognized Megan Wang from Thousand Oaks and Nicholas Kvale from Ventura on their receipt of the prestigious Congressional Award, the highest honor a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate may bestow upon a youth civilian. Both students earned gold medals. 

“I want to congratulate Megan and Nicholas for earning gold medals through the Congressional Award program. It is a very impressive achievement,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “Over the last year, we have all been challenged and reminded of the importance of continued personal development and the need for community engagement, two skills these young students have successfully developed even through the toughest of circumstances.”

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“I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the Congressional Award program has given me,”said Megan Wang. “I’ve learned so much while working toward my goals, and the experiences I’ve had have allowed me to become a more compassionate person and an involved member of my community.”

Megan earned her gold medal by volunteering at various Conejo Valley organizations. She helped clients at the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank, tutored children at the low-income housing organization, Many Mansions, and helped youth and adults with special needs at the Conejo Recreation and Park District’s Therapeutic Recreation program.

“It is a great honor to receive the Congressional Award and the process of earning it has been an amazing experience,” said Nicholas Kvale. “I enjoyed volunteering within my Ventura County community and I broadened my view of the world through visits to remote native communities in Alaska while learning about their way of life.”

Nicholas earned his gold medal by helping disadvantaged children, supporting community events, graduating from the Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, and volunteering with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. 

Background

The Congressional Award, established in 1979, recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in young people. Earning the Congressional Award is an exciting and enriching way for youth to get involved in local communities. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, youth are honored for setting personally challenging goals and meeting needs in their community.

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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. Gold Medalists must have completed a minimum of 800 hours over at least 24 months.