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Twenty-six Wyoming youths earn gold, silver, bronze Congressional Awards

The list of recipients and their respective medals are listed below.

The 2023 Congressional Award medalists during the April 30 ceremony.(Photo courtesy of Denise Hawkins).

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Twenty-six Wyoming youths earned gold, silver and bronze Congressional Awards this year and were recognized by the Wyoming Congressional Award Council, or WCAC, during a Sunday morning ceremony at the Cheyenne Civic Center.

Established by Congress in 1979, the Congressional Award is a national program that recognizes initiative, service and achievement in young people. Any student can register for their state’s program at 13 and a half years old and must finish all activities by their 24th birthday.

Program participants earn their respective medals by completing a certain number of hours in each of the four areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition, according to the Congressional Award program book.

Public service opportunities include volunteering at hospitals, schools, shelters or community organizations. In Personal Development, students must fulfill a goal that is personally challenging. To complete the Physical Fitness portion, students participate in fitness activities aimed at improving their quality of life. In Expedition, students immerse themselves in an unfamiliar environment or culture.

On Sunday morning, the medalists and their families listened to congratulatory speeches made by the WCAC, Rep. Harriet Hageman and Sen. John Barrasso from Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation. Silver and bronze medalists received their medals during the ceremony. The gold medalists will fly to Washington D.C. in June and receive their awards at the national Congressional Award Gold Medal Summit.

Sara Compton, executive director of the WCAC, said she is proud of the recipients for forging their own paths and finding unique ways to help their communities.

“When I think that all 26 took different paths and still get to stand here today, literally that gives me goosebumps,” she said during the ceremony. “That’s why we’re here today.”

Shelby Hoobler, a 10th grader at Cheyenne East High School and a bronze medalist, said participating in the Congressional Award program forced her to go outside of her comfort zone. By helping out at her local library and in youth sports camps, Hoobler said she became more confident at public speaking.

“I’m pretty shy and reserved,” Hoobler said during the ceremony. “Talking with the public in various ways has allowed me to get more comfortable in a public setting.”

Like Compton, Hageman believes the 26 youths are the future of Wyoming. They show that all is not lost on the next generation, Hageman said.

“So often we hear that young adults are trouble or that they only care about themselves,” she said during the ceremony. “Here we see the real truth, that provided with the opportunity for mentorship, outstanding young adults are alive and well today as in any time in our history.”

The list of recipients and their respective medals are listed below:

Gold

Burns High School

  • Jaspur Nusbaum; Gold, Silver – Cheyenne

Cheyenne Central High School

  • Sydney Duba – Cheyenne
  • Morgan Kirkbride – Cheyenne

Cheyenne East High School

  • Ellie Swanson; Gold, Silver, Bronze – Cheyenne

Dubois High School

  • Wyatt Trembly; Gold, Silver, Bronze – Dubois

Green River High School

  • Lily Harris; Gold, Silver Bronze – Green River

Homeschool

  • Eli Polk – Cheyenne
  • Isaiah Polk – Cheyenne
  • Anne Ritschard – Cheyenne

Kelly Walsh High School

  • Jake Boatman; Gold, Silver, Bronze – Casper

Mountain View High School

  • Jaxon Sweep; Gold, Silver Bronze – Lyman

Pinedale High School

  • Wyatt Griffin; Gold – Pinedale

University of Wyoming

  • Leah Rose – Casper
  • Finley Klinger; Gold, Silver, Bronze – Casper

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

  • Elizabeth Prescott – Cheyenne

Silver

Cheyenne Central High School

  • Jillian Trimble – Cheyenne

Jackson Hole Community School

  • Greyson Smith; Silver, Bronze – Jackson

Bronze

Cheyenne Central High School

  • Nora Fraley – Cheyenne
  • Shelby Kirkbride – Cheyenne

Cheyenne East High School

  • Denali Bronder – Cheyenne
  • Ty Bronder – Cheyenne
  • Shelby Hoobler – Cheyenne
  • Caleb Miller – Cheyenne

Homeschool

  • Bella Polk – Cheyenne
  • Hunter Sabat – Thayne

Wheatland Middle School

  • Carly Robertson – Wheatland

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