This year, two young adults from the Santa Clarita Valley earned the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a youth civilian.
Minyoung Cho of Valencia and Michael Ngan of Stevenson Ranch both earned The Congressional Award Gold Medal and will be recognized at a special award ceremony in the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Cho and Ngan are among 373 youth, ages 16 to 24, from 39 states across the nation who received the award this year.
The nonpartisan, voluntary and non-competitive award encourages and recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 14-23.
Started in 1979, The Congressional Award Gold Medal is the U.S. Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed on a young person.
During a minimum of two years, participants log at least 400 hours of voluntary public service, 200 hours of personal development and physical fitness and complete a 5-day, 4 night expedition/exploration.
As they set goals, network, serve, develop and stay fit, participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates and Medals as complete goals and requirements in each of award’s four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
The 2017 Gold Medal class is the largest in the program’s 38-year history, according to the award program’s website.
Altogether, the program’s 211 female and 162 male participants completed 178,384 service hours, 164,534 fitness hours, 408,362 development hours and 3,357 days of exploration.
In addition, 175 medalists partnered with a youth or service organization to complete their activities and 1,865 adult mentors, advisors and validators assisted in the participants’ goal-setting and network building process.
All 373 Congressional Award Gold Medal recipients will be honored in two ceremonies, at 10 a.m. and noon, at U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium alongside guests that include CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_