Francis Parker School senior Evan Morgan was named a 2019 Congressional Award Gold Medal awardee representing California’s 52nd Congressional District of Poway. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow upon youth civilians—recognizing their hours of dedication across four program areas: public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration. Evan is one of six other individuals who earned the award in the San Diego County.

For Evan, the award is more than a log book of hours it is a collection of reflective time spent in his community personally dedicating more than 900 hours of community service. For the past 18 months, Evan spent his Sunday evenings making dinner for families at the Interfaith Community Center in Escondido.

“I really enjoyed getting the know the families that I served,” said Evan. “I’ve been volunteering since I was 10 years old. It’s just a part of who I am and what I do.”

Evan also earned community service hours serving as a camp counselor for the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) camp offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Evan said he enjoyed mentoring young students, helping them to find their confidence as leaders.

For the personal development section of the award, Evan spent a summer program in New York doing chemistry research on detecting arsenic in drinking water. Chemistry is a passion of Evan’s, and he plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and pursue a career in public health. Last year, Evan qualified to take the 2018 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad National Exam. Just over 1,000 students from across the nation are chosen to take the rigorous three-part national exam.

“I love chemistry. The main reason why I chose to come to Parker was to take the advance Upper School chemistry classes like organic chemistry,” says Evan.

Evan fulfilled the physical fitness section of the award with his studies in Taekwondo. For the expedition/exploration section of the award, Evan had to plan and lead excursions and then reflect on how the trip went. As an Eagle Scout—a rank which Evan earned in October—planning a three-day excursion through Joshua Tree National Park was quite literally a walk in the park for him.

Awardees will be recognized at the annual Gold Medal Ceremony in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2019. Evan says earning the Congressional Medal means everything to him.

“The Congressional Award, to me, reflects a well-rounded representation of leadership,” says Evan, “It best represents all the things that I love of my work in chemistry, humanitarian efforts, and mentoring others.”