Set your goals.
Earn the Award.

Get started with goal setting.

All of your activities must occur after your Activity Start Date (the day that you register).

You are allowed up to four Voluntary Public Service goals, two Personal Development goals, and two Physical Fitness goals for each Record Book submission. Additionally, you only need to submit one Expedition or Exploration that meets the minimum day or overnight requirements for the level in which you are applying.

Creating a SMART goal.

S – Specific. State what you’ll do, use action words. 
M – Measurable. Explain how you will evaluate your progress: time, days, etc. 
A – Achievable. Create goals that are realistic. 
R – Relevant. Find a goal that applies to your interests. 
T – Time. State when you’ll work on the goal. Remember, you do not have to achieve your goals, only show progress.

You may set umbrella goals that include similar activities. For example, if your Voluntary Public Service goal is to help youth in your community, your activities to achieve this goal could include tutoring at the local library, assisting youth at the YMCA, and packing lunches at the food bank for local students.

The Congressional Award My Goals

Gain inspiration for your goal.

Sharing time and talents for the benefit of others.

Voluntary Public Service is meant to provide opportunities for you to dive into your community with hands-on volunteer experiences. This requires sensitivity, assessment of needs, and determination. 

Gain inspiration: 

  • Volunteering for a non-profit
  • Food drives or food donations
  • Clothing drives or clothing donations
  • Volunteering at a hospital or hospital item donations
  • Environmental clean up
  • Animal shelters
  • Hygiene kits 
  • Volunteering at a public library

Use your imagination and discover the impact you can bring to your community. The Award will consider any activity that meets the guidelines. 

Additionally, our team has been working to identify new and creative ways that participants might be able to complete Voluntary Public Service hours in the age of COVID-19.

The following are projects worth considering:

  • Meeting immediate needs: Making and/or securing PPE (personal protective equipment) like masks, face shields, isolation gowns, disposable gloves to be donated to health workers.
  • Volunteering remotely for non-profit organizations
  • Assisting public schools with the implementation of remote learning and/or helping educators with grading/administrative work
  • Virtual tutoring/mentoring at public schools
  • Packaging and delivering essential supplies to the elderly or home-bound or to students who rely on meals from their schools
  • Organizing digital fundraisers for non-profits or crisis response groups
  • Writing letters to those serving in the armed forces abroad, children in medical isolation, or persons under quarantine
  • Making articles of clothing for hospital patients
  • Donating blood at a sponsored blood drive
  • Making signs and writing thank you notes for first responders, hospital staff, and medical workers.

Safety is paramount. Participants should remember to always protect themselves and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state or local officials when setting their goals.

Pursuing a new interest or advancing in an ongoing interest.

Personal Development is a chance for you to explore a new interest or work to improve your skills in an existing hobby.

Gain inspiration: 

  • Playing an instrument 
  • An internship or a job
  • Reading or writing
  • Standardize test prep
  • Learning to drive
  • Learning a new language
  • Tutoring
  • Participating in an extracurricular club 
  • Volunteering at a hospital 
  • Environmental clean up
  • Clothing drive or clothing donations
  • Food drive or food donations

Use your imagination and discover the impact you can bring to your community. The Award will consider any activity that meets the guidelines. 

Improving one’s quality of life.

Activities for physical fitness should occur outside of a participant’s regular routine. For example, if a participant walks to school, they may not count that as a goal.

Gain inspiration:

  • General exercise 
  • Walking or running
  • School sport 
  • Private club sport 
  • Nutrition

If you have any disabilities or require special consideration, please let our office know. The program is flexible, and we are happy to assist any way we can.

Use your imagination and discover the impact you can bring to your community. The Award will consider any activity that meets the guidelines. 

Immersion in an unfamiliar environment or culture.

An Expedition or Exploration should be a new, unique experience. Your trip should require a level of immersion that enables you to leave your comfort zone or daily routine and discover the unfamiliar.

Gain inspiration: 

  • Traveling to a new place 
  • Experiencing a neighboring city or town
  • Camping

Use your imagination and discover the impact you can bring to your community. The Award will consider any activity that meets the guidelines. 

The write-up: Writing about your experience
Please ensure that you submit a thorough write-up of your Expedition or Exploration. The Submittable record book includes a list of questions to help guide you. Your submission should not consist of brief bullet points. 

In-person write-up questions: View here

Virtual Explorations
Due to travel restrictions and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, all participants will be able to submit Virtual Expeditions or Explorations with modified guidelines through December 31, 2022. View here.

For more information at The Congressional Award Website:


Science Academies of New York | SANY will provide support, challenges and opportunities for its students, and it will instill the necessary skills and knowledge in math, science, and technology to empower students, through high intellectual standards, preparing them for college, career, and citizenship.