14:13 PM

N.J. Cadet to Receive Congressional Youth Gold Medal

Piscatinny Composite Squadron's Santos to Receive Medal in Nation's Capitol

Cadet 2nd Lt. Thiago Santos of the New Jersey Wing’s Piscatinny Composite Squadron will be formally recognized this summer in Washington, D.C., for his recent completion of all requirements for the Congressional Youth Gold Medal.

Santos will join his fellow gold medalists from around the U.S. at a formal presentation ceremony at the Capitol in June.

The Congressional Youth Gold Medal is awarded to U.S. youth who have logged over 400 hours of voluntary public service, totaled a minimum of 400 hours of personal development and physical fitness and carried out an expedition or exploration lasting at least five days and four nights.

Santos, who is an Eagle Scout, fulfilled the voluntary public service requirements by volunteering for The Student Conservation Association, spending four weeks camping and working on a project in the Shenandoah Mountains in North Carolina. In addition, last summer he spent three weeks hiking and camping while working in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s Pasayten Wilderness in Washington state.

Locally, Santos volunteered at Pass it Along in Sparta.

Santos fulfilled the personal development criterion by achieving Civil Air Patrol’s Gen. Billy Mitchell Award. Since joining CAP in August 2012 he has participated in Basic Encampment at McGuire Air Force Base and the Model Aircraft and Remote Control Flight Academy in Oshkosh Wisconsin. He also participated in a CAP STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition at the wing level.

The cadet met his physical fitness qualification by competing on the Sparta High School varsity soccer team. He has also played on the Sparta travel soccer team for several years.

Santos plans to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, where he hopes to specialize in computer programming.