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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2009

SCHUMER, MCMAHON ANNOUNCE TWO STATEN ISLAND STUDENTS AWARDED CONGRESSIONAL AWARD GOLD MEDAL FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY


Christina Borovilas and Mary-Katherine Rose Honored for Hundreds Of Hours of Voluntary Community Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition/Exploration

Award Represents Congress' Highest Honor for Youth

Schumer, McMahon: These Young Women Represent the Best of Their Generation

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Michael E. McMahon proudly announced that two Staten Island youths have been awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal, Congress’ highest honor for America’s youth. Christina Borovilas and Mary-Katherine Rose have been honored because they have dedicated hundreds of hours of service in their communities. In 2009, there are 267 medalists that took the challenge and dedicated hundreds of hours to voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition/Exploration.

 

Staten Island should be very proud of what these two young women have accomplished,” Schumer said. “Christina Borovilas and Mary-Katherine Rose are outstanding representatives of their generation and I am thrilled that they have been awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal. I hope that more young people follow their lead and serve their community.”

 

“I am so proud of Christine and Mary-Katherine and all they have accomplished,” said Rep. Michael E. McMahon.  “These two young women represent the best of Staten Island.  It is a great honor to be awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal and I am happy that they were singled out on a national level for their commitment, dedication and service to Staten Island.”

                                                                                           

In earning her Congressional Award Gold Medal, Christina Borovilas devoted over 200 hours of community service to the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities for her Voluntary Public Service activity, where she worked as a laboratory assistant to scientists researching Autism and Alzheimer’s disease. She also volunteered through the Staten Island Greenbelt, helping to increase public awareness of the environment and the extensive parklands of Staten Island. For Personal Development, Christina worked with a career counselor in order to gain insight into her personality type, IQ and possible future career path. She also acted as a peer mentor for pre-teen girls through the Ophelia Project. For Physical Fitness, Christina participated in her school’s swim team and joined a Greek folk dance troop where she learned traditional dances. Christina traveled to her ancestors’ homeland of Greece for the Exploration portion of the award, where she explored historical sites and stayed at the American Farm School, a college in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

 

In earning her Congressional Award Gold Medal, Mary-Katherine Rose completed over 400 hours of Voluntary Public Service in her local community. As a Junior Docent at the Staten Island Zoo, Mary-Katherine’s training covered animal behavior, adaptations and zoonotic diseases, ecology and conservation biology, and taxonomy. For Personal Development, Mary-Katherine performed in many of her high school’s dramatic and musical productions and worked as a stagehand. For Physical Fitness, Mary-Katherine attended classes in yoga and Tai Chi, which was especially helpful in relaxing both her body and mind. Mary-Katherine’s Exploration brought her to Gettysburg where she was able to better educate herself on the history of the American Civil War.

 

Tomorrow, members of Congress will join community and corporate leaders in honoring the 267 recipients of the Congressional Award Gold Medal. This annual event highlights Congress’ highest honor for youth and will recognize individuals that have dedicated hundreds of hours of service in their communities. Throughout the year, Congressional Award Medalists are honored at local ceremonies and medal presentations by Members of Congress at the district and state levels. Since its inception in 1979, the Congressional Award has recognized thousands of young Americans committed to serving their country and improving themselves, representing over 2.5 million hours of public service and 25,000 students.

 

The Congressional Award, a public-private partnership, established by Congress in 1979 is a non-competitive program open to young people ages 14-23, regardless of mental or physical challenges, or socioeconomic status. The Congressional Award Foundation teaches participants to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character, and foster community service, personal development and citizenship.

 

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