It takes a combination of time, talent and commitment to receive the Congressional Award Gold Medal — and junior Claire Redick struck the right balance while earning hers.
The award is the highest honor bestowed by Congress on young people ages 13-24. It requires setting and meeting four personal goals in voluntary community service, personal development, physical fitness and (online) exploration. Claire incorporated two of her longtime passions while discovering new interests during the experience.
A talented young playwright and a promising athlete, Claire had to balance her interests in theatre and volleyball.
"Both required a large time commitment and often conflicted with one another, but I managed to make it work and learned valuable lessons about teamwork and hard work from both disciplines," she said.
For her personal development goal, Claire wanted to explore story through theatre, poetry, fiction and scriptwriting. She worked on the crew of three upper school theatre productions, earned a spot on The Coterie's Young Playwright's Roundtable and participated in its spring festival. The Coterie presented her original work, "Lady M," in May.
For her physical fitness goal, Claire set out to improve her volleyball skills beyond the recreational level. She became co-captain of Barstow's junior varsity team during her sophomore year before being sidelined by an injury.
Claire volunteered at Wayside Waifs, Barn Theater and Librivox, an audiobook service, to meet her service goals. And because travel was impossible during the pandemic, she set a virtual exploration goal that included learning about Britain, with a particular interest in its arts and theatre scene.
"I explored Vikings at the British Museum, took a virtual tour of Dartmoor National Park, learned about the history of Westminster Abbey, virtually explored several of the Great West End Theaters, read "The Picture of Dorian Gray," by Oscar Wilde and made Beef Wellington."
Claire hopes to study abroad in Britain or Scotland in college.