Santa Margarita Catholic High School senior Kayla Jahangiri was recently awarded with the Gold Congressional Award Medal for public service. Kayla earned the prestigious honor through her service to her community of San Juan Capistrano and is one of only 326 students in the United States to receive this recognition.
Jahangiri’s award comes after fellow Santa Margarita senior, David Bao, received a Silver Congressional Award Medal for public service to his community of Ladera Ranch.
A gold, silver or bronze medal is given to participants based on setting and accomplishing personal goals in the areas of volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition. The Congressional Award program for young Americans is voluntary and nonpartisan.
To be eligible for this award, Jahangiri completed over 400 hours of public service, 200 hours of personal development and 200 hours of physical fitness all in the span of 24 months.
For the public service portion of her work, Jahangiri started a foundation that provides school supplies for less fortunate children in her community and started a team of individuals to raise money for cancer research. For the personal development requirement, Jahangiri was a part of the Model United Nations program at Santa Margarita and was a youth member of the San Juan Capistrano City Council. To complete the physical fitness portion of her recognition, Jahangiri was a member of the Santa Margarita swim team.
In addition to her many hours of dedication to her public service, personal development and physical fitness requirements, Jahangiri traveled to Peru to complete a five-day individual exploration in which she worked with young children and provided them with school supplies and hygiene materials.
Jahangiri and her fellow gold medal recipients received their medals in Washington, D.C. last month.
To see the full list of gold medal recipients, visit congressionalaward.org/national-events/gold-medal-events/2016-gold-medalists/.