Archer Student Graduates from National Leadership Council with Congressional Medal of Honor

For four years, Ruby C. '19 balanced her classes and activities at Archer with readings, retreats, and projects for the National Leadership Council. This month, Ruby traveled to St. Louis to graduate from the prestigious four-year youth leadership program with a bronze Congressional Award.
The Congressional Award is designed to challenge youth leaders in four areas: voluntary service, physical fitness, personal development, and expedition or exploration.

The majority of Ruby's service hours came from volunteering as an American Youth Soccer Organization coach and participating in trips to orphanages in Tijuana; but she said her trips with her fellow National Leadership Council participants were the formative experiences that showed her how to adapt to and take charge of unpredictable situations.

"We’ve discussed readings and gave speeches everywhere from on top of a helicopter pad at the peak of Mount Gardner in British Columbia to the trampoline of a catamaran under the stars of the Pacific Northwest while sailing the San Juan Islands," she said, "but beyond everything I learned from the curriculum, I think I grew the most in my ability to reassess, adapt and solve any situation."

Once, Ruby and her fellow participants lost track of a class member while hiking down from Machu Picchu. During another trip, their dinghy ran out of gas on an island and the group had to paddle back to their boat.

"As a result, I learned how to manage myself and those around me in times of uncertainty. It taught me about practical day-to-day leadership under untraditional circumstances," Ruby said. "I’m prepared and comfortable stepping up in most situations when things don't go as planned."