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SSA- Tucson Junior Wins Congressional Gold Medal
student poses with certificates and medals [Tucson, AZ] Congratulations to Therese Dang! This junior just learned she has earned a Gold Medal, which is the highest recognition possible for a student in the U.S. Congressional Awards Program. Therese’s award puts her in an elite group of only several hundred young people annually who meet the program’s requirements. Therese will be recognized at a Gold Medal ceremony, hosted by members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2020.

Therese achieved her Gold Medal status by completing:

•             400 hours of voluntary public service

•             200 hours of personal development

•             200 hours of physical fitness

•             4 days of expedition/exploration, requiring self reliance, determination, and cooperation.

The Sonoran Schools Mentorship Program (SSMP) is a unique opportunity for motivated, eligible students to work towards a Congressional Award, supported by a staff member who provides ongoing mentorship and guidance. Ms. Mine Calik, who teaches character education at SSA, has been Therese’s mentor and she says she could not be more proud of her!

According to their website, the Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans, open to all 14 to 23 year-olds. Participants can earn certificates or awards at four levels for setting and achieving goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Learn more at