Williston Northampton School six-year senior Ryan Dwyer on April 23 met with U.S. Representative James McGovern (D-MA) after receiving a Congressional Award.
The United States Congress established the award in 1979 to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people and was originally signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump have each signed continuing legislation.
The award is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. It is open to all youth regardless of ability, circumstance, or socioeconomic status. Participants earn certificates or medals after meeting their own goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.
Ryan registered for the Congressional Award after learning about it from an article that he read in The Willistonian during 8th grade. He used his volunteer experience gained during scouting, including his Eagle Scout project, assisting with food drives and helping at other community events. His physical fitness goal was to improve his swimming technique and speed as part of Williston’s swim team (he served as a co-captain this year). For personal development, his goal was to become a certified lifeguard, and for his expedition/exploration, Ryan completed a 75-mile backcountry hiking trip at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
“Ryan is a remarkable young man with an impeccable character,” said his Latin teacher and advisor Beatrice Cody, head of Williston’s Language Department. “His enthusiasm, seriousness of purpose, intellectual curiosity, and good citizenship are constantly in evidence.”