Niagara Gazette

June 18, 2013

Lockport youth earns Congressional Award for service

Staff report
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Jonathan Gidley of Lockport has been chosen to receive the highest honor bestowed upon America’s young people. Congressman Chris Collins will present Gidley with The Congressional Award Gold Medal today at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Gidley was chosen for the award in recognition of the good works he has done for the betterment of his community and for the goals he has set for his own personal development.

Gidley is a senior at Christian Central Academy. He is a member of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, where he has achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class and serves as Company Commander. He will be attending Texas A&M University on a national Naval ROTC scholarship upon graduation and wants to pursue a career as a Navy Seal.

His work exemplifies the cornerstones of the Congressional Award: Service to others, initiative, and achievement, according to a release. The Congressional Award is open to all young people ages 14 to 23 in America. To earn the award, young people must set and achieve goals in the four program areas: Voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

Including his many hours of community service through the Sea Cadets Program, Gidley performed more than 400 hours of voluntary public service over the past five years. He also logged more than 200 hours of physical fitness, playing travel soccer and varsity soccer at his school, where he served as a team captain, and he was named to the IAC Area All Star Soccer Team.

Gidley’s personal development goals were achieved primarily through earning the rank of Petty Officer First Class in the Sea Cadets Program and through his accomplishments as a violinist, having made both the Area All State High School Orchestra and the Area All State Strings Orchestra.

Only 246 young people in the United States qualified for the prestigious Gold Medal Award this year, and only eight students from New York state qualified. Gidley is the only person from upstate New York to be receiving the Gold Medal in 2013. Notably, Jonathan is the only person from Congressman Collin’s district ever to earn the Congressional Gold Medal in the 34 years since the program was established in 1979. The only other medal awarded by the United States Congress is the Medal of Honor.

He is the son of Lauren and Jamie Gidley.