Students who are interested in community service may find that pursuing a Congressional Gold Award from the U.S. Congress provides some helpful structure to their volunteerism.
The Congressional Award allows students to set goals in their areas of interest and work at their own pace as they earn bronze, silver, and gold Congressional Awards.
The program is noncompetitive, open to students between 14 and 23, and requires goals in each of four categories to encourage a well-rounded student experience.
Each award recipient will complete goals in volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.
Students can complete the program in as little as two years with weekly time commitments in each area.
Because many homeschoolers are already meeting these time commitments, they may find additional motivation in the program’s structure and student recognition.
The award requires that time spent volunteering not be political or evangelistic in nature, but many church-sponsored programs will qualify for the award.
In Idaho, a homeschool community service group raked leaves for the elderly.
Others have received the award for Scout and 4-H leadership, interpreting, peer counseling, caring for animals in a shelter, and distributing food to the poor.
For more information about the program, visit their website at http://www.congressionalaward.org