By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- The 2013 Congressional Medal of Merit was awarded to a handful of Indian River County students earlier this month.
Samuel Moore, a graduating senior at Saint Edward's School, was one of four students granted the award based on outstanding academic achievement, commitment to their communities and civic involvement.
Hope McGeady of Sebastian River High School, Travis Moody of Vero Beach High School, and Benjamin Ostman of Indian River Charter High School were also recognized with the Congressional award.
The students were nominated for the award by their school principals and have distinguished themselves by their extracurricular activities, school citizenship and leadership.
"I congratulate these students for their hard work and commitment to making their schools and communities better places," Congressman Posey said in the press release. "I am delighted to recognize these deserving students with this award."
Mr. Moore has an extensive academic resume, including volunteer hours with hospice care, organizing and carrying out lawn maintenance for senior citizens at St. Francis Manor, giving English lessons in Beijing, tutoring his peers in Mandarin and serving in leadership roles for a mock United Nations school club.
"I'm really honored about this award," Mr. Moore said.
During his junior year, Mr. Moore studied abroad in Beijing for six months at the Beijing High School No. 2, and after school hours gave English lessons to employees of a Holiday Inn in the city.
"Learning a foreign language is much needed over there. Most of them really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn," Mr. Moore said.
Mandarin language classes are among the courses offered at Saint Edward's that Mr. Moore pursued, so when the opportunity came to tutor some students in the class to bring them up to speed, Mr. Moore was able to use his language tutoring skills stateside.
"Whether in the U.S. or abroad, I couldn't forget to give back to my community," Mr. Moore said.
International affairs, politics and current events have long since intrigued Mr. Moore, and his participation in the United Nations club, which included being named the secretary-general, or the leader of the club, and his participation in a rigorous academic path with the World Affairs Councils of America program, has continued to fuel his passion in those areas.
"It's a really great way to find out other perspectives on the world and not just to see the American side. You find out what people on the other side of the world are talking about," Mr. Moore said.
Communication and writing have also interested him, and while he studies at New York University in New York later this year, he will explore options to continue pursuing communications while exploring options in international affairs and possibly law.