FAIR LAWN, NJ - Ryan Greff, a Fair Lawn High School graduate, received recognition as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal for Young Americans as the Borough Council named November 27 Ryan Greff Day.
At the November 26 council meeting, Greff was honored for his work during high school and now in college when he accumulated 400 hours of volunteer community service, devoted 200 hours to personal development, participated in 200 hours of physical fitness, and planned and carried out an expedition of no fewer than 4 nights and 5 days. He earned multiple levels of the award.
"I began this program back when I was in high school," Greff said. "Sequentially, I earned the Bronze Medal, then the Silver Medal, then the Gold Medal."
He satisfied a large portion of his program requirements during his time in the Boy Scouts of America. He is an Eagle Scout from Fair Lawn Troop 53. Previously, he served as the troop's Senior Patrol Leader as a youth head of the troop.
"While I was the Senior Patrol Leader, I led the troop to win the Journey to Excellence Gold Award (a unit award for merit) as well as the William T. Hornaday Unit Award (for environmental conservation)," Greff said.
"I met a large amount of my volunteer hours during my eagle project restoring the barn of the Garretson Forge & Farm," he said. "Cali Carting had been kind enough to donate a dumpster, which enabled Troop 53 and other volunteers to remove any trash from the barn. We cleaned, dusted, and restored the barn to a museum standard."
He is currently a Ramapo College student where he is a finance major with a minor in information technology management. Greff serves as student governor within the Ramapo College Foundation. He is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key Honor Society and the New Jersey Business Administration Association Honor Society.
According to the proclamation issued to Greff, the medal is the highest award issued by the United States to young people ages 13 to 24.
Ryan received the medal from Congressmen Tom Malinowski and Donald Payne, Jr. at a ceremony in Summit, NJ on Sept. 21. A national ceremony for Gold Medal recipients will be held in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2020.
According to congressionalaward.org, the award "is non-partisan, voluntary and non-competitive...is open to all youth regardless of ability, circumstance or socioeconomic status." Participants earn the award by setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. The award was established in 1979 to recognize initiative, service and achievement in young people.
Earning the award is a way to get more involved in something an adolescent or young adult already enjoys or something they'd like to try for the first time. Individuals move at their own pace. The award is not for past accomplishments. Instead, individuals are honored for achieving their own challenging goals.