Congressional Award Gold Medalists recognized in nation’s capitol


Courtesy photos

PINEDALE – Pinedale High School (PHS) alumna Zoe Griffin and her brother, incoming PHS senior Wyatt Griffin, both attended the 2023 Gold Medal Summit, hosted by the Congressional Award Foundation, in Washington, D.C., from June 20-22.

Zoe Griffin and Wyatt Griffin each earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal – the highest honor granted to young people in America by the U.S. Legislature.

Established by Congress in 1979, the Gold Medal recognizes the “remarkable initiative, service and achievement demonstrated by these exceptional medalists.”

Recipients of the Gold Medal must complete 400 hours of volunteer service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness and plan a 5-day expedition or exploration all in the course of 24 months.

Zoe Griffin is a member of the Gold Medal Class of 2021 and made history as the first student from PHS to garner the award. Griffin is the PHS Class of 2021 Valedictorian and is going into her junior year at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she is a biosciences major concentrating in cell biology and genetics with a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology.

The in-person ceremonies for gold medalists were canceled in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wyatt Griffin completed the requirements to attain the Gold Medal in February as a junior at PHS. The Congressional Award board of directors appointed Griffin as a Diversity Ambassador for 2023, to act as a voice for young people in remote, rural communities. Only 10 high school and college students are selected in the United States each year to serve as Diversity Ambassadors.

Through his role as a Diversity Ambassador at the 2023 Gold Medal Summit, Wyatt Griffin delivered an address for the closing ceremony inside the historical Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building located southeast of the national capitol.

The 2023 summit consisted of a banquet at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Gold medalists also attended panels hosted by natonal leaders in government, industry, science and education. Wyoming gold medalists met with the state’s congressional delegation – Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. Cynthia Lummis and Rep. Harriet Hageman.