After completing more than 100 hours of voluntary public service, plus working to achieve personally challenging goals, Owensboro High School sophomore Cecilia Hemingway recently earned the Congressional Award Bronze Medal.
Established to law in 1979, the Congressional Award was created to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people.
Any student aged 14 – 24 years old may participate in the Congressional Award by setting and achieving goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.
Hemingway earned the Bronze Medal based on the amount of time spent in each program area.
She volunteered at the hospital and fostered kittens for the Daviess County Animal Shelter to achieve 100 hours of public service; participated in Impact 100 Next Generation for 50 hours of personal development; and took yoga and spin classes for 50 hours of physical fitness.
Additionally, she served as a page for Rep. Suzanne Miles, spent a day at Cecil Farms, and stayed overnight at Shaker Village to contribute to the required two days and one night needed for expedition/exploration.
Hemingway spent seven months working to achieve the award.
As the awards levels are cumulative, she could work her way to Silver and eventually Gold if she wanted. Silver is essentially double the hours of Bronze, and Gold is double the hours of Silver.
She has until her 24th birthday to reach those totals. For now, Hemingway said she just wants to take the time to appreciate her own hard work.
“This award really taught me how to set goals and work for them and be organized about them, she said. “It really helped me get out of my comfort zone.”