(Lander, WY) – Lander students Kaleb Simonson and Rebecca Whiting received Congressional Awards from U.S. Senator John Barrasso M.D., U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, and Congresswoman Liz Cheney. The ceremony happened on April 18th in Cheyenne.
47 students from across Wyoming received Congressional Awards this year. In order to receive this recognition, students have to achieve a set of challenging goals in the areas of voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.
Kaleb and Rebecca both received silver and gold medals. Earning a bronze medal requires at least a seven-month commitment while earning the gold medal involves two or more years and 400 hours of service.
“Today, we celebrate not only these outstanding young people but the ability to gather in person during this time of uncertainty,” said Pat Thomas, president of Wyoming Congressional Awards Council.
He added, “Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ‘Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.’ These young men and women have certainly done that time and time again, they have shown perseverance through the last year with COVID and have made things happen. Earning a Congressional Medal takes commitment, grit, and a substantial amount of time over several years, and each of our communities have benefitted because these young Wyomingites have passed all the pebbles in their paths.”
In order to earn a Bronze medal, participants completed 100 hours of volunteer service, 50 hours of personal development, 50 hours of physical fitness and executed a one-night exploration or expedition.
To earn a Silver medal, participants completed another 100 hours of service, 100 hours of personal development and 100 hours of physical fitness in addition to executing a two-night exploration or expedition.
The Gold Congressional Award is the most prestigious award for youth and the only award given to students by the U.S. Congress. In order to earn the Gold Congressional Award, participants must complete at least 400 hours of volunteer service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and execute a four-night and five-day exploration or expedition.
To view the complete list of recipients from across Wyoming, click here.