Teather Earns Congessional Award For Volunteerism

By  //  May 10, 2012

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Reward For Hard Work

Holy Trinity student Christian Teather will be presented with the Congressional Award Gold Medal on June 20 in Washington. (Image courtesy Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Holy Trinity student Christian Teather will be presented with the Congressional Award Gold Medal on Capitol Hill on June 20 by either Senator Marco Rubio, Sen. Bill Nelson or Congressman Bill Posey.

The Congressional Award Gold Medal is Congress’ highest honor for America’s youth.

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only award for young Americans. Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people.

It began as a bipartisan effort in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. The enabling legislation (Public Law 96-114) established the Congressional Award as a private-public partnership, which receives all funding from the private sector, and was originally signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.

It is given to 14- to 23-year-olds who have achieved goals individually set for themselves under a non-parental mentor for each category.

Each level involves setting goals in four program areas and achieving them- Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

The Gold Medal level (the highest award)is the only award presented to the qualified youth on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC each summer by their Senator or Congressman.

The Silver and Bronze Medals are presented locally by Congressman Bill Posey.

As part of the Gold Medal ceremony, dinner has a Congressional keynote speaker.  A luncheon with the Congressional spouses is then held the following day for the recipients. Four guests are allowed to attend the presentation.

To earn the Gold Medal, students must have reached their volunteer goals with a minimum of a 24 month commitment, 400 hours of time and to achieve the Personal Development goals and Physical Fitmess goals, a 200 hour commitment was required.

Students also had to design at least a 4 night minimum expedition into an area new to them.

Teather has devoted the majority majority of his Voluntary Public Service to the needs of migrant workers in Florida at a local non-profit facility, Operation Hope.

He spent last summer at the Mexican Consulate to the US in Orlando helping immigrants with matriculation.

To reach his Personal Development goals, Teather steadfastly studied classical piano to qualify three years in a row for the Florida State Federation of Music Competition by scoring in the highest ranking at the regional competition.

Through that, he now has an interest in studying Russian in college after listening to his instructor use so many entertaining,old Russian analogies in her heavy Russian accent to describe his musical efforts.

During a expedition to Spain, Teather lived with a local Spanish family and says his appreciation of other cultures grew even more with that experience.

“My focus on my Physical Fitness goals, not only helped me decrease my time trial times in cycling, but led me to become the Florida State Champion in Track racing,” he said. “Because of my goal of eventually attaining the Congressional Award Gold Medal, my understanding of the power of goal setting has become something I will always carry with me in my future endeavors.”

He has accepted an internship at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. this summer as their only high-school intern.