BATON ROUGE, La. — Kelsie Tillage, a junior at Southern University Laboratory School, recently received the Gold Congressional Award, the highest honor a youth civilian can achieve through the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. This program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 14-24.
“Receiving this award is truly an honor,” Kelsie said. “More importantly, I hope to inspire others to be more involved in their communities to elevate themselves and those around them.”
The Congressional Award was established in 1979 by Congress as a public-private partnership. This program is the only non-profit organization affiliated with the U.S. Congress. The gold medal requires 400 hours of voluntary public service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and a five-day exploration. Since its inception, there have only been 5,000 gold medalists, and only 84 were from Louisiana.
In addition to maintaining a 4.29 GPA at Southern Lab, Kelsie is dually enrolled in Southern University honors and AP courses. She is a member of the Southern Lab Student Government Association and has been a member of the varsity and club volleyball teams. Kelsie has also been named student of the year in her district and earned the Duke Tip Scholar, John Hopkins CTY, and the Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership Awards.
“I hope that receiving this award allows me to broaden my reach in my endeavors to create and explore,” said Kelsie, who has studied in South Africa.
After being published in an anthology, Kelsie is inspired to create her own, “Unpopular Opinions,” set to release this summer.