LSU ME Senior Receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

Sean Thomas posing with ScaliseBATON ROUGE, LA – Sean Thomas, a mechanical engineering senior in the LSU College of Engineering from Slidell, La., recently received the Congressional Award gold medal from Rep. Steve Scalise. The award recognizes initiative, service, and achievement and is earned over a minimum of two years in the areas of voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.

“The process of earning the Congressional Award took five years of dedication and, sometimes, hard work,” Thomas said. “I learned new skills, perfected others, and through my volunteer service had an impact on hundreds of lives. There’s no better feeling than that.”

In the area of voluntary public service, Thomas taught 387 hours of martial arts to more than 300 students and taught 402 hours of ballroom dancing to teens and young adults, training several for the USA Dance South Central Regional Championship. For personal development, he learned welding and fabrication skills while building a functional recumbent tricycle and became proficient in the use of handguns, increasing his accuracy with both .22 and .45 caliber pistols at open and enclosed ranges.

In the area of physical fitness, Thomas spent 447 hours working in Tae Kwon Do Korean martial arts. He not only surpassed his goal and attained the rank of third-degree black belt, but also earned his teaching certificate from the American Tae Kwon Do Foundation, giving him the credentials to open his own martial arts studio. Additionally, to complete the final area of expedition/exploration, Thomas planned and executed a five-day canoe/camping trip for four men through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Ely, Minn.


About the Congressional Award Program

The Congressional Award is the U.S. Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary and non-competitive. The program is open to all youth, regardless of ability, circumstance or socioeconomic status. Participants earn bronze, silver and gold certificates and bronze, silver and gold medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas—voluntary public services, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

The award has no minimum GPA requirements and accommodates people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge.


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