Congressman Kevin Brady honors Montgomery County teenagers with Congressional Awards

By: Kim Kyle Morgan, Woodlands Online
| Published 09/21/2017

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas – U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX 8th District) recently honored 10 Montgomery County teenagers with Congressional Awards.

"They represent the best of America in so many ways," Brady said. "Their commitment to bettering themselves and giving back to the community are exactly the values, character and integrity we hope for in every generation of young American."

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress' award for youth ages 14-23. Recipients set and achieve goals in four areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.

This year's Congressional District 8 recipients include three sets of siblings, including twins:

Maddie Mae Custer, 16, a junior with Mother of Divine Grace Homeschool and a Lone Star College–Montgomery dual credit student, is a Senior Acolyte at St. Anthony of Padua Church and has been invited to play viola with the Conroe City Orchestra. Maddie has her sights set on becoming an Aggie and attending law school. She said earning her Bronze Congressional Medal taught her “that I could accomplish challenging goals” and “a sense of confidence.”

Henry Lyons, 17, a junior at The John Cooper School, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, the Interact Club, the TOPS Program and with Hurricane Harvey recovery. A member of the cross country team and an avid pianist, Henry said his Silver Congressional Medal is all about “how I try to better myself and my community.”

Sam Lyons, 15, a sophomore at The John Cooper School, is a soccer player and an active committee member for Habitat for Humanity. Sam said earning the Bronze Congressional Medal is an honor that “shows all the time and effort that I put into myself and my community.”

Carina Masuelli, 17, a senior at The John Cooper School, is a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and National Hispanic Scholar who has acted in school musicals and released an album of her original music. With plans to study engineering and music, Carina said her Bronze Medal quest allowed her “to learn about the needs of the less fortunate in our local community and the value that volunteers bring, while focusing on specific personal goals.”

Brian Seelig, 19, a University of Oklahoma sophomore majoring in Aviation, earned a Silver Congressional Medal. An Air Force JROTC student and Scout, Brian puts his background as a science camp volunteer to work as a member of the University of Oklahoma NIFA flight team. He believes the medal process taught him how to make himself stronger.

Catherine Seelig, 18, a Texas A&M University freshman studying Chemical Engineering earned a Silver Congressional Medal. In high school, she was a member of the track team and volunteered at a senior care home and with many community events as well as participating in UIL Music competitions, band and Chamber Music Festivals.

Emily Seelig, 16, a sophomore at The Woodlands High School, earned both Bronze and Silver Congressional Medals. Emily is active in The Woodlands High School Band and has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, the Children’s Museum, a local food pantry and other organizations. Emily earned this honor by “giving back to the community through hard work and dedication."

Nivedhitha "Nila" Selvaraj, 18, a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin, is pursuing a double major in Computer Science in the Turing Scholars Honors Program and the Plan II Honors Program. While at The Woodlands High School, Nila earned both Bronze and Silver Congressional Medals which “showed me how much I can achieve and improve by myself, if I set goals and work steadily toward them in all areas of my life.”

Allison Sharer, 15, a freshman at The Woodlands High School, is an accomplished gymnast, track and field athlete and community volunteer. In addition to earning her Silver Congressional Medal, Allison has achieved numerous honors for her charity and Girl Scout endeavors, serves on the student council and has participated in citizen scientist projects through Gulf Coast MENSA.

Ashley Sharer, 15, a freshman at The Woodlands High School, is a highly decorated Girl Scout, volunteer and student athlete with numerous track and field wins in long distance running, the triple jump, pole vault and swimming competitions. In addition to earning her Silver Congressional Medal, Ashley helped her Robotics team score multiple competition awards and participated in citizen scientist projects through Gulf Coast MENSA.

"These are very talented and dedicated young men and women," Brady said. "It's exciting and encouraging to see this type of commitment."

For more information about the Congressional Award, visit www.congressionalaward.org.

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