Alexandra Gritta of Portland, Oregon is Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

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Young Humanitarian Wins Highest Honor Bestowed by Congress

Alexandra is a talented young humanitarian and is well-deserving of this high honor.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) has presented Alexandra Gritta of Portland, Oregon with the Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by Congress. The award is given to American youth who demonstrate initiative, service to others, and achievement. Gritta, a rising senior at Lincoln High School, was the only student from Oregon receiving the award from Congress this year and the 11th Oregonian recipient since the program was established by Congress in 1979.

The Congressional Award program requires participants to set and achieve goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Gritta turned her love for horses into a charity that qualified her for the voluntary public service portion of the award, spending hundreds of hours and raising over $25,000 for organizations with missions to rescue and provide safe habitats for horses. She also worked to raise public awareness about horse abuse and slaughter by producing the exposé, “Premarin® and Horse Slaughter—the Ugly Truth behind the Label,” which received Honorable Mention as a Work of Merit at the 39th Annual Northwest Filmmakers Festival (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvvxKshjdLw). For personal development, Gritta acquired new skills on the viola, with weekly lessons, rehearsals, and performances in several orchestras. She achieved her physical fitness goals by setting challenging biking distance/speed goals. Finally, Gritta fulfilled her expedition goal by travelling to the state of Washington and participating in a five-day outdoor survival program.

“It is a great privilege to present the Congressional Award to Alexandra Gritta,” said Bonamici. “Alexandra is a talented young humanitarian and is well-deserving of this high honor.”

“The Congressional Award is an outstanding program,” commented Gritta. “It taught me the importance of public service and the value of setting goals and achieving them. It creates both incentive and opportunity for young people to gain new experiences and become engaged in their communities. I would like to see more Oregon students become aware of and participate in this program.”

The program is open to all 14 to 23-year-olds, who can earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. More information can be found at http://www.congressionalaward.org/.

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