On Thursday, Dec. 3, United States Representative for Virginia's 5th Congressional District Denver Riggleman presented Jack D. '23 with a Congressional Award Bronze Medal for his work in the Charlottesville community to advance childhood literacy. The medal was conveyed in June, with the official presentation ceremony taking place via Zoom several months later due to the pandemic. The delay has meant Jack is now one-third of the way towards earning his Silver medal, with aims to continue advancing.
"This award is about challenge," said Rep. Riggleman. "You set a personal goal and achieve it. It is clear that Jack has learned responsibility, trust, and the ability to plan and organize through his various projects: Researching his family history at Ellis Island, volunteering at the Virginia Discovery Museum, and his Books for VA project."
Tonight I was honored to present the Congressional Award Bronze Medal to #VA05 student Jack Dozier alongside his family and teachers of St. Anne’s Belfield School. Jack, your community service and volunteerism are to be admired and celebrated. I wish you all the best! @theaward pic.twitter.com/YCgVbFSwJA— Congressman Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) December 4, 2020
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. The Foundation remains Congress’ only charity. The program is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday.
Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Participants are honored for achieving their own self-paced, challenging goals after registering for the program.
"I am very excited for this presentation, and to have the support of Congressman Riggleman and his office," said Jack. "It meant a lot to have my family there, and to have St. Anne's-Belfield's support on things like my Books for VA project."
Jack D. is only one of a handful of participants who have received this award in recent years. An avid reader, he estimates that he has read over a thousand books in his lifetime and has dedicated many years to increasing childhood literacy in the local community. In 8th grade, for example, Jack partnered with the St. Anne's-Belfield School librarian and art teacher to teach a class to 7th and 8th grade peers. During the class, students designed and built two Little Free Libraries for community organizations and ran a book drive in which they collected over 600 books. The Congressional Award recognizes the creative ways Jack continues to share his love of reading.
"What is especially wonderful about Jack is that he would be doing all the things he does even without the Congressional Award program," says ays Jack's advisor, Dean of Students David Smith. "He models such devotion in our community and beyond. I look forward to witnessing what lies ahead for him."