The United States Congress established The Congressional Award Foundation, its only charity, in 1979 with the passage of Public law 96-114, The Congressional Award Act. The Congressional Award is the highest honor which can be awarded to young civilians between the ages of 14 and 24. It is a nonpartisan initiative available through both houses of Congress. The Congressional Award has six levels, three certificate levels (Bronze/Silver/Gold) and three medal levels (Bronze/Silver/Gold). The Congressional Award is not academically based. To earn the award, applicants must demonstrate Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Exploration. The Congressional Award is unique because candidates are recognized for setting goals in the four key areas and achieving those goals at their own pace. Learn more here.