Tahira Abdul-Qadir ’26 Receives Congressional Gold Medal

Honors student Tahira Abdul-Qadir Congressional Gold Medal

Here, Tahira poses with her father and brother, all of whom won first place in their divisions at the 2021 Kickboxing North-Central American Carribean Championship in Mexico.

The Honors program celebrates and congratulates Tahira Abdul-Qadir for accomplishing her goal to earn a Congressional Gold Medal. Tahira, a first-year student, is majoring in Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in Management at Whitman.

To requirements for earning a Congressional Medal of Honor are rigorous:

The requirements are rigorous:

  • 400 hours of voluntary public service;
  • 200 hours of personal development;
  • 200 hours of physical fitness; and
  • a five-day, four-night expedition/exploration trip.

It’s an intensive commitment of time and persistence, but represents the core values she and her family hold. As a student at the Syracuse Academy of Science High School, Abdul-Qadir was able to take advantage of her school’s Congressional Award and College Readiness program. The mission of the program is to help students working toward the Congressional Award, academic success, college readiness and service build good character to be college-ready and productive citizens. She was the first student from her high school to receive the highest honor from the Congressional Award program. Tahira’s accomplishments extend much broader than this award–she tutors at the North Side Learning Project, is a book drive organizer for the African Library Project, and Founder of Fight Like a Girl.

The Congressional Award, established in 1979, is the United States Congress’ non-partisan, voluntary and non-competitive award for young Americans 24 years of age and younger. In 2022, the program had 4,432 participants, with 1,280 medals earned, including 549 gold medals, a program history record. The impact of the young people who participate in this program is far-reaching with 1.3 million hours of service performed annually.

See Syracuse News for the feature story.

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