Mee­han hon­ors area stu­dent

The con­gress­man awarded Joshua Chu the Con­gres­sional Award Medal

Springfield Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli lfinarelli@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @lk­finarelli on Twit­ter

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.

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