Meehan honors area student
The congressman awarded Joshua Chu the Congressional Award Medal
AMBLER >> Wisshahickon High School senior Joshua Chu walked into his AP Economics class Thursday morning to applause. Moments later he stood at the front of the class receiving the Congressional Award Bronze Medal from U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan.
The Congressional Award Program “offers young people the opportunity to set a personal goal and achieve it,” according to congressionalaward. org. To earn the Bronze Medal, one must complete 100 hours of voluntary service, 50 hours each of personal development and physical fitness, and two
going to and exploring the culture and history of another location.
The award “looks at opportunities for everybody to create a baseline and improve yourself,” the 7th District Republican told the students. “Joshua used his sense of reaching out and took an opportunity to make himself better.”
The Lower Gwynedd teen worked in the different areas over a two-year period, much of it during the summers, his parents, Andrew and Karen Chu said prior to the medal presentation.
Joshua worked at Manna on Main Street in Lansdale, packing food, sorting donated items and aiding the kitchen’s staff, and spent one day a week helping out at a Project Brother Love camp in the city for two summers, Andrew Chu said.
A member of the WHS tennis team, he also spent time working at summer tennis camps, his father said. The family visited Boston — followed the Freedom Trail — and Hawaii, where he completed the expedition and exploration requirements.
A trumpet player, Joshua is a member of the high school’s marching, concert and jazz bands; “band is his passion,” his advisor for the medal program, Warden Hwan, said. “He is very well-rounded.”
“He was very excited by the opportunity,” his father said. “You have to meet certain objectives. At the end he wrote a report and sent it to the congressman’s office and he heard back that he attained the Bronze Medal.”
“I was looking around for things I could do as a high school student,” Joshua told Meehan. “I was already doing a lot of the things that I could apply to the categories.”
“There is a value,” Meehan said. “It can be part of your resume moving forward.”
The program, established more than two decades ago, is about “working on behalf of your community, physical fitness and exploring your world — getting beyond the four walls where you live, how you fit into the larger world,” Meehan told the class.
The things that have changed him most, the congressman said, were the “unanticipated benefits by getting involved in things. The people I’ve met have opened doors to me.” Mentors have given “advice I wouldn’t have considered myself.”
Meehan remained for the rest of the class period, explaining facets of how government works and answering questions, and encouraged the students to “follow two things” — the budget and tax reform.
“You are a generation more challenged on how you take things [information] in,” he said, urging them to seek to find accurate news.
Congressman Pat Meehan presents the Congressional Award Bronze Medal to WHS senior Joshua Chu.