Commitment Innovation

The Spirit of Midway and the Congressional Award

One student in the process of obtaining a Congressional Award shares insight into how she found out about the program and the steps she's taking to achieve her goals.
Caroline Goodnight opens up about her Congressional Award journey.

Congressional Award inspires service, running marathons and even a trip to Palo Duro Canyon

The prospect of earning the Congressional Award pushes Midway sophomore Caroline Goodnight to the edge. In her journey with the award, Goodnight will be making a trip to bike Palo Duro Canyon to achieve some of her goals she set for the exciting expedition and exploration part of the Congressional Award.

The Congressional Award was established in 1979. The award recognizes young people who show initiative and achievement. In order to achieve the highest recognition of the award, a student sets goals in voluntary service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition or exploration and must reach all of the goals that they set. It challenges students to reach their goals and get involved in their community.

Caroline Goodnight is in the process of reaching her goals for the Congressional Award now. She applied for this award after winning the Spirit of Midway two years in a row. She chose to apply for the Congressional Award because of the information she received about it from being a Spirit of Midway applicant.

“I never would have known about it (the Congressional Award) until Spirit of Midway,” Goodnight said.

She was already volunteering with different 5Ks and going on mission trips with her church before she decided to apply for this award. The experiences have helped her to continue her public service goals for the award. She said that all of her volunteering experiences have been really gratifying.

Even her experiences with her physical fitness goals have taught her valuable lessons. Goodnight set out to run marathons as her goal for physical fitness, she is a member of the cross-country team field at Midway. She ran her first full marathon in eighth grade, since then she has been running and preparing for more marathons and improving her time. Her involvement in marathons has “made it easier to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.”

Her goals for personal development are pushing her to be her best self.

“I want to do something I’ll enjoy that will make me a better person and broaden my worldview,” Goodnight said.

Goodnight said that she would recommend this award to other students. It is an opportunity to do things that you might not have thought about doing before.  The Congressional Award process has taught her to have focused goals and follow through with plans.

“Do it and get on it early, don’t wait a year to start it,” Goodnight advised.


For more information about the Spirit of Midway and/or The Congressional Award and their application processes visit our site at: