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Congressman Pallone Honors NJ Students with Congressional Award Gold Medal for Service to their Communities

June 21, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) recognized two New Jersey students with the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Felicia Aschettino of West Long Branch, and Madilyn Somers of Monmouth Beach received the prestigious congressional award to recognize their civic leadership and strong personal development within their communities. Medalists must complete over 400 hours of community service, 200 hours of personal development and physical fitness as well as a four-night expedition.

“I am honored to recognize Felicia and Madilyn with the Congressional Gold Medal and am proud of their distinguished service to our community,” Said Pallone. “Through their work at the Red Cross and Soles4Souls, Felicia and Madilyn have demonstrated the importance of giving back, and I’m sure they will continue on to do great things in the future.” 

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Rep. Pallone with Felicia Aschettino of West Long Branch & Paxton K. Baker, Chairman of the Congressional Award Board & minority owner of the Washington Nationals

Over the past two years, Felicia worked with the American Red Cross as a volunteer and spokeswoman. A beneficiary of the Red Cross’ aid herself, Felicia was able to share her story to raise awareness of the important work done by the volunteers and professionals at the organization. Within her community, Felicia worked at a local ice cream parlor, promoted fitness through dance classes, and acted in her school’s theater group. For her expedition, Felicia brought her family to Lancaster, PA to become “honorary Amish” for a week where they learned about the traditions and lifestyle of the Amish people.


Rep. Pallone with Madilyn Somers of Monmouth Beach & Paxton K. Baker, Chairman of the Congressional Award Board & minority owner of the Washington Nationals

To raise awareness and help fight poverty, Madilyn worked with the nonprofit Soles4Souls which creates jobs and distributes clothing to impoverished people locally and around the globe. In addition to her community service, Madilyn promoted personal growth and physical fitness by furthering her interest in photography and developing her skills as a student-athlete through intense speed and agility training. In an effort to improve her foreign language skills, Madilyn immersed herself in French language, history, and culture, during her expedition in Paris.