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posted: 4/22/2014 1:21 PM

Naperville teen earns Congressional Silver Medal

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U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat who represents the 11th Congressional District, recently presented the Congressional Award Silver Medal to Graham Novak of Naperville to recognize his commitment to service and personal development.

"I'm proud to present Graham the Congressional Award Silver Medal," Foster said. "His commitment to public service and self-improvement serve as a valuable reminder of the importance of helping our fellow man and continuously striving to better ourselves.

"Graham set challenging goals for himself and has achieved those goals through hard-work, dedication and perseverance. I applaud his success."

The Congressional Award is the U.S. Congress' award for young Americans. It is nonpartisan, voluntary and noncompetitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

Graham, a junior at Naperville North High School, devoted his voluntary public service to various local organizations by helping educate struggling students, raising money for children with leukemia, and providing services to families with critically ill children.

For his personal development goal, Graham was able to learn new music playing the saxophone in his high school's extracurricular bands. Graham achieved his physical fitness goal by participating in intramural wrestling, gymnastics, swimming, canoeing, and other workouts.

For his expedition, Graham organized and led a crew of his Boy Scout troop to the wilderness of Canada for five days. They were completely self-dependent for food, shelter, and water.

Students interested in applying for the Congressional Award can learn more at