Cherokee HS sophomore Rebekah Seng was presented the Congressional Award, Silver Medal today at the school by Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk's office. State and Local Government Relations Director Mack Parnell from Congressman Loudermilk's staff presented the medal to Rebekah, who is a member of the JROTC program at Cherokee HS, in a small ceremony in the JROTC classroom with her parents and special guests. Only 638 students qualified for the medal in the United States this year, with only 10 recipients in Georgia.
From left, Mark Seng, Virginia Seng, Rebekah Seng, Mack Parnell, Ret. Col. Eddy Stanfill.
The Congressional Award is the highest voluntary award from the United States Congress that a U.S. teenager can earn; the medals are awarded at the bronze, silver and gold levels. The Congressional Award Silver Medal requires 100 hours of documented activity in Physical Fitness, 100 hours of documented time in Personal Development (learning something new), and 200 documented hours of Volunteer Service to an organization(s) that serves the greater community. In addition, applicants must complete a minimum three-day exploration/expedition activity that is completely planned and carried out by the applicant-- all within a seven-month window. JROTC Retired Colonel Eddy Stanfill was Rebekah’s advisor for the award.
Rebekah fulfilled her volunteer hours at the Cherokee Senior Center in Canton; director Tim Morris was present for her award. To complete the Physical Fitness requirements, Rebekah participated as a member of the Cherokee HS Varsity Swim team. She also completed Physical Training (PT) with her JROTC class, and worked out on her own. To meet the requirements for the Personal Development portion, Rebekah learned new computer programming languages and was one of only 40 students in the southeast chosen to attend a 10-day Cyber Security camp sponsored by the National Security Administration at the University of North Georgia last summer. For the Volunteer Service portion of the requirements, Rebekah volunteered during the summer at the Cherokee County Senior center, planning and carrying out various activities for the senior citizens and Veterans including arts and crafts and social events. She also worked with her JROTC unit to serve the community by parking cars for football games, selling concessions at the Rome Air Show, and laying wreaths at the National Cemetery among other community activities. She also volunteered with the Cherokee high school Beta club and served at the local Humane Society Animal Shelter.
State and Local Government Relations Director Mack Parnell from Congressman Loudermilk's staff shares the Congressman's appreciation for Rebekah's skill and determination.
To complete the expedition/exploration requirement, Rebekah planned an eight-day Early American History experience covering Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, Virginia, as well as Washington, DC. Upon her return home, she was required to write a report describing what she had learned from her expedition and how the experience had helped her to grow as a person and U.S. Citizen.
Rebekah earned the Bronze medal last year, and is on track to complete the Gold medal requirements this spring.