The Board shall establish and administer a program to be known as the Congressional Award Program, which shall be designed to promote initiative, achievement, and excellence among youths in the areas of public service, personal development, and physical and expedition fitness. Under the program medals shall be awarded to young people within the United States, aged fourteen through twenty-three (subject to such exceptions as the Board may prescribe), who have satisfied the standards of achievement established by the Board under subsection (b) of this section. Each medal shall consist of gold-plate over bronze, rhodium over bronze, or bronze and shall be struck in accordance with subsection (f).
The Board shall arrange for the presentation of the awards to the recipients and shall provide for participation by Members of Congress in such presentation, when appropriate. To the extent possible, recipients shall be provided with opportunities to exchange information and views with Members of Congress in connection with the presentation of the awards.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall strike the medals described in subsection (a) and awarded by the Board under this chapter. Subject to subsection (a), the medals shall be of such quantity, design, and specifications as the Secretary of the Treasury may determine, after consultation with the Board.
The medals struck pursuant to this chapter are National medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31.