Panhandle Spirit: Congressional Award Gold Medal-winner
AMARILLO, Texas —
The Congressional Award Gold Medal is the highest honor that a young person can earn from Congress. It takes two years and hundreds of hours of work. This year, only one student from the Panhandle achieved it.
Talon Lewis, a senior at Tascosa High School, took on the challenge when he was a freshman.
“At first, it was very intimidating. I didn’t know how hard I would have to try, or how long it was going to take, but as soon as I started with it, I started seeing that it’s definitely something I could complete,” Lewis said.
Talon said his parents were extremely supportive during his quest, which he hopes will help him earn an appointment to a military academy, something he’s dreamed about for years.
“On my tenth birthday, I met this one pilot, and he showed me around his fighter jet, and the moment I met him, I just fell in love with the idea of being a pilot,” he said.
To earn the medal, Talon put in 400 hours of work in four areas; public service, which he served at a family center run by his church, personal development, which includes his stellar skills on the cello, physical fitness—by training with the Tascosa Cross Country team, and expedition exploration which took him to the Florida Keys.
He received his medal during a ceremony in Washington DC, an exciting trip that Talon said was a great way to wrap up a rewarding experience.
“I got to do so many great things that I would probably never be able to have the opportunity to do without this award. But it was very relieving to see that all that hard work finally paid off. “