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Sandy Journal

Two Beehive Academy students awarded Congressional Medals

Aug 23, 2018 05:10PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Two Beehive Academy students, Eldar Muhic and Czarina Landwill, will be able to include “congressional award winner” on their college applications and resumes as they recently returned from Washington, D.C. where they accepted their gold medals.

By Julie Slama | [email protected] 

This fall, Beehive Science and Technology Academy seniors Eldar Muhic and Czarina Landwill will be able to add something to their college applications that few other classmates will — the Congressional Award. 

Independently, the two completed the congressional award, which included voluntary service, personal development, expedition or exploration and physical fitness. In late June, the two traveled to Washington, D.C., where they were presented their gold medals. 

“I started on it in ninth grade,” Muhic said. “It’s a program that is meant to challenge you for several years.” 

In fact, the program has six levels of the award from bronze, silver and gold certificates to bronze, silver and gold medals. The minimum age to register for the program is during a youth’s 13th year, but it must be accomplished by the 24th birthday. 

With the help of mentors, youths set their goals, following the program’s structure. For example, the service work must be completed without pay, compensation or school credit. 

“The goals were helpful to put on paper,” Landwill said. “It made us think about what we were doing, why we were doing it and what we hoped to learn through the process.” 

For Muhic’s service, he brought in his love of soccer and taught youth drills and techniques. He also helped with teaching Sunday school at his church as well as taught Arabic lessons. Landwill chose to help at local STEM — or science, technology, education and math — fairs and science labs as well as help at local animal shelters. 

The emphasis of personal development is designed to expand youths’ interests and knowledge. Muhic focused on his preparation for the ACT college standardized test as did Landwill, as well as improving her knowledge in cybersecurity through the CyberPatriot youth education program and competition. She also served on the school’s student council. 

The expedition or exploration component of the program is designed to challenge the youth through an interaction with the wilderness or by immersing themselves in an unfamiliar culture. Muhic planned and led a group to learn about the hiking trails, land and wildlife near Kanarraville, Utah. Landwill led others on discovery activities by Lake Powell. 

The final part of the Congressional Award is physical fitness. While Muhic has played competitive soccer through his club team, Blue Knights, he could count that as his activity requirement, but not his goal. Landwill admitted this area was one that challenged her; she set a goal of physical fitness for four hours per week and would go on runs to meet her mark. In time, she said, she was able to complete her runs without stopping. 

Involvement in his school and community helped, Muhic said. 

“All my extracurricular activities besides school really paid off and I was able to build upon what I was doing,” he said. “When I looked at what I was doing, I could see a lot of improvement from my practice tests for the ACT to my increased speed and stamina, which helped me in soccer.” 

In addition to the Congressional Award Ceremony at the Kennedy Center and group shots of the medalists at the nearby monuments, Landwill also had planned to visit the Smithsonian museums and Arlington Cemetery as part of her first visit to Washington, D.C. The award winners also were invited to a Washington Nationals Major League Baseball game. 

This year, with their college applications being submitted, the two already have career goals in mind. Muhic wants to be an electrical engineer, and Landwill a heart surgeon. 

“The heart is the most amazing thing. It’s the source of life and if it doesn’t work, nothing else will,” she said. “The Congressional Award has taught me balance in my life and I’ve set these goals and have been able to accomplish them, which will help me throughout my life.”