This June, I will be one of the proudest parents in Washington D.C.Â My daughter, Becky, who is 22 and has Down syndrome, will be accepting the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor from President Obama. Â The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans.Â It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive.Â The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds.Â Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals.Â Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Â http://www.congressionalaward.org/about.php
So, how did she get to this point?Â Due to the support that Becky has received from her Support Workers in the Consumer Directed Program, she has achieved all of the certificates and medals including the highest award which is the Gold Medal.
Becky was required to put in 400 hours of Volunteer work, 200 hours of Personal Development, 200 hours of Physical Fitness, and go to an Expedition/Exploration.Â Over several years, there have been many support workers who were willing and able to take her to volunteer at nursing homes and pet shelters.Â Some support workers took her to classes at the local community college, helped her practice piano and taught her to cook while others took her skiing and to karate classes.Â These support workers went above and beyond the call of duties many times to help her accomplish her goals.
One of the hardest parts of achieving this award is to keep good records and submit a well organized record book.Â One of her support workers, who has been her friend for many years (another mom of a boy with Down syndrome), was willing to help Becky organize and submit her book for her Silver and Gold medals.
I nominated Molly to be my wonderful family support for the Texas Parent to Parent conference contest.Â If you like this story, you can vote for it at
http://www.txp2p.org/pifvoting.htmlÂ Â If I win, I get a scholarship to the conference.