Wayne County student earns congressional award

Posted July 9, 2008 10:46 a.m. EDT

— Michael Atkins Jr., a Charles B. Aycock High rising senior, was recently awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal.

The Congressional Award Foundation (CAF) in Washington states that the award is the highest honor for youth service awarded by Congress.

Atkins earned the award because he met the four CAF requirements:

  • Volunteer Public Service
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Fitness
  • Expedition/Exploration

He was one of 237 students nationwide recognized with the award.

For his volunteer public service hours, Atkins initiated a community service project, called the Warming Tree Project. He collected cold weather clothing items for the needy in his community.

For his personal development, he learned different aspects of theater such as lights, sound and costuming. He also learned videography and photography through the 3, 2, 1 Action Program in Washington.

In the physical fitness area, Atkins worked to improve his time in the three mile run by joining the school’s cross country team and running long distances for his school’s track team. He traveled to Fort Fisher to complete the Expedition requirement.

He also spent time working on an environmental ecology project, camping, fishing, learning to kayak and participating in other outdoor activities.

The Congressional Award, a public-private partnership, established by Congress in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, is a non-competitive program open to young people ages 14-23, regardless of mental or physical challenges, or socioeconomic status.