Lauren Melendez earns the Congressional Award silver medal

The Magnet Tribune: Lucero Rea
Junior Lauren Melendez who earned the Congressional Award Silver Medal in spring 2017, has also been recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar.

Lucero Rea, Staff Writer

“It was kind of awful because it was raining and we got mud in our tents and then we saw some javelinas and we got scared, but it’s okay,” Junior Lauren Melendez said.

It was a unique New Year’s Day for Melendez and other girls from the Girl Scout troop. Staying overnight at Camp Huisache, a scout campground on Highway 59 outside of Laredo, away from her loved ones during this time of the year was one of the challenges she faced. She had to make some sacrifices but at the end, it was all worth it.

The campout helped her earn the Congressional Award Silver Medal. In order to fulfill this challenge Melendez had a limit of 1 year and to complete a requirement at least every month.

I think way more people should do it. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover your passion and learn new things about yourself.”

— Lauren Melendez

Melendez found out about the congressional award from her troop leader who told her and other girls it has nothing to do with Girl Scouts, but she and her friends wanted to give it a try.

In order for Melendez to meet the requirements, she had to complete 200 hours of Voluntary Public Service, 100 hours of Personal Development, 100 hours of Physical Fitness plus spending at least three days or two nights exploring a new environment or culture, according to the Congressional Award website,

“It made me grow as a person because I developed a lot of hours on things I enjoy … it really helped me grow in my communications skills as well,” Melendez, a creative writing student, said.

“I know it sounds like a lot of work because of all the hours you need to put on it but it is really rewarding,” she said.

Melendez earned an award but she said she also gained better skills from all the events that she completed. She said her diligence and dedication helped her meet the requirements for the silver medal by keeping up with the hours each month.

“I think way more people should do it. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover your passion and learn new things about yourself,” Melendez said.

She encourages individuals to give the Congressional Award a try because they can get involved with a lot of new things they might feel connected with.

“It is really rewarding, like you do good things and it feels really nice. Good deeds make you feel good,” Melendez said.

Melendez’s road to the Congressional Award Silver Medal:

Voluntary Public Service

  • Spent 9 days during the summer taking care of Brownies as a camp counselor at Camp Bayview.

New Environment

  • Stayed at a local scout camp called Camp Huisache.

Personal Development

  • Participated in speech and debate contests which helped her improve her communication skills.

Physical Fitness

  • Running to improve her physical strength.