One Harlingen High School Senior will go from the graduation stage to Capitol Hill this summer.
Kristen Geiger will receive the United States Congressional Award Gold Medal, a national award given to young adults who complete required objectives to enhance their personal development, physical fitness, volunteer public service and expedition/exploration, she said. The program aims to challenge America’s youth to be well-rounded young adults.Just one look at Geiger’s handy program binder, filled with notes and papers chronicling her past five years, can attest to her diverse academic and extracurricular resume.
As part of the program, participants need to keep of their hours in completing the four program areas, she explained. So any time she wants to take a trip down memory lane, Geiger can just turn the pages through her binder.
“Looking through the binder makes me proud,” Geiger said. “It was a lot of effort. But when I look back, I don’t think about all of the hours I put into it. I think that I grew from the experience, as a person and a leader. I was able to get more involved in everything.”
Geiger started the program when she was in the eighth grade. She moved up the ranks, earning the hour requirements for the bronze and silver medals earlier in the high school career, she said.
“Volunteering was my favorite part,” Geiger said. “I volunteered at the ranch in Los Fresnos called Welles Stables. I worked at a summer camp for kids as a counselor. It’s not like a regular summer camp because horses are big animals, so you need one-on-one help with the kids.”
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After graduating this month, Geiger will be off to college either at the University of North Texas or Brigham Young University to major in dance. She wants to also take her medical school prerequisites so that she can apply to medical school.
She said she wants to be a neonatologist, a pediatrician who specializes in working with premature newborns.