WESTFIELD, NJ - Maura Herbertson of Milburn received the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal for her work to provide recycled eyeglasses to those in need. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a young person through the House and Senate. Herbertson, 18, visited Congressman Leonard Lance's (NJ-07) Westfield district office where she was honored during a special ceremony.

"Earning the Gold Award was truly a rewarding experience. It taught me about commitment and dedication to a task,” said Herbertson.

Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979, the Congressional Award Program encourages and recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 14-23.  For a minimum of two years, each Gold Medalist has to log at least 800 hours across four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

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“Maura is well deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Lance.  “The volunteer work she did to provide recycled eyeglasses to those in need was remarkable and should serve as an example to all of us.  Maura is an incredibly talented young person and I wish her the best as she begins her studies at  Haverford College this fall.”

Herbertson earned the Congressional Gold Medal due to her 400 hours of voluntary public service with New Eyes for the Needy, a charity that provides recycled eyeglasses to schools, hospitals and nursing homes. She was also an All-County member of the Milburn High School Varsity Field Hockey team and a certified Red Cross Lifeguard.