Congressman Brian Higgins recently presented three local students with the Congressional Award Medal.
"These medals are presented to students who demonstrate a commitment to their community and themselves by setting goals and working hard to reach self-initiated objectives," Higgins said. "This type of dedication and service is what we look for in future leaders, and I commend these students for this great accomplishment."
Luka Jankovic, Marin Jankovic and Jonathan Kim were honored with the Congressional Award for service and achievements within their communities. To earn the Congressional Award, these three students set and achieved individual goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, physical fitness, personal development and expedition or exploration.
Similar to the Presidential Award for Service, the Congressional Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character and foster community service, personal development and citizenship. The program consists of six levels, including a bronze, silver or gold certificate, and bronze, silver or gold medal.
Higgins awarded the Silver Medal to siblings Marin and Luka Jankovic. To earn a silver medal, participants must complete 200 hours of voluntary public service, 100 hours of personal development, 100 hours of physical fitness and a two-night expedition.
Marin and Luka volunteered in the community through the Amherst Youth Engaged in Services (YES) program, and participated in a state business competition. The two also researched and planned a trip to Trogir, Croatia, where they discovered more about their family history.
Luka assisted his high school's freshman orientation by directing incoming students, and was a member of a local soccer club. He is a recent graduate of Williamsville North High School and currently attends Cornell University.
Jonathan Kim received the bronze medal, which requires 100 hours of voluntary public service, 50 hours of personal development, 50 hours of physical fitness and one overnight expedition.
Kim volunteered countless hours under the direction of Amherst Youth Consortium, assisted with planning a literacy event at a local library, volunteered at a local food pantry, and helped clean up the Amherst Park Garden. He is a member of Williamsville North High School tennis team, participated in the New York State School Music Association, and planned a two-day expedition to Blue Mountain Camp in the Adirondacks.
The Congressional Award empowers young people to take greater responsibility for their own lives, to discover new talents, to advocate on behalf of others, and to take positive action in their community. Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people.