2018 Congressional Awards

ST. LOUIS, June 19, 2018—Congress on Thursday (June 21) will award its highest honor for young people to five students from St. Louis Irish Arts, which operates the one of the nation’s largest school of traditional Irish music and dance.


Since 1980, St. Louis Irish Arts has mentored more than 50 Gold Medal Congressional Award honorees. Attending this year’s awards ceremony at the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building will be the following 2018 Congressional Award honorees:

  • Claudia Barney, 18, of Maplewood, who recently graduated from Nerinx Hall High School;
  • Sophia Barney, 18, of Maplewood, who recently graduated from Nerinx Hall High School;
  • Katherine T. Elliott, of St. Louis, who recently graduated from Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis;
  • Kaelin Dooley, 18, of Webster Groves, who recently graduated from Webster Groves High School; and
  • Josephine Moran, 18, of St. Louis, who recently graduated from Ursuline Academy.


The young women will be accompanied by their families and by their mentor, Helen Gannon, president of St. Louis Irish Arts.


The Congressional Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a young person through the Senate and House. Congress established the nonpartisan honor in 1979 to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have each signed continuing legislation.


Young people can register when they turn 13 1/2 years old. Before their 24th birthday, participants must complete goals they set for themselves in four program areas—voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration. Congressional Award medals are awarded at the gold, silver and bronze levels after the completion of those goals.


For more information about the Congressional Award, visit congressionalaward.org.