Christina Beggs, a junior at Eastern High School, received the Congressional Award Gold Medal from Congressman Norcross this November after being awarded the medal in July. Due to the pandemic, she was unable to receive it in person until recently.
The Congressional Award is U.S. Congress the highest honor and only charity award bestowed upon youth civilians through the Senate and House. According to the Congressional Award website (www.congressionalaward.org/the-program/) , it was “established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program encourages and recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 14-23. The Gold Medal requires 400 hours of voluntary public service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and a 5-day, 4-night Expedition or Exploration – all over the span of at least 2 years.”
Beggs’ service includes volunteering at a family shelter in Glassboro with Volunteers of America and assisting patrons at the Waterford library. During the COVID shut down, she assisted the elderly by helping them learn how to connect through Zoom and other computer programs. For her 200 hours of personal development, she explored other interests through a STEM program with Lockheed Martin. There she learned the basics of 3D printing, electrical engineering and her team won a robotics competition at Villanova University. The program requires several explorations, Christina explored New Jersey, tracing first Alexander Hamilton’s influence on the state, then an exploration of South Jersey to participate in the opening of the Harriet Tubman museum in Cape May, and the discovery of many other unique locations and contributions that South Jersey continues to make.
Beggs continues to look for ways to better herself and her community and is very thankful for the support of her parents and of Congressman Norcross.