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Late last month, along the waterfront in the Refuge Gateway of the

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, a Trenton High School sophomore received the Congressional Silver Medal Award from U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-15th Distict).

Gabrielle Herin has dedicated her volunteering hours with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since the fall of 2009 in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  She has accumulated 315 hours with conservation projects including invasive species removal, tree planting and trail maintenance. She also has worked at public events such as the Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival, Hawkfest at the Lake Erie Metro Park and Eagle Tours at the Monroe DTE Energy Plant, and with the Friends Group, the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance.

Gabrielle is volunteering at the Refuge to satisfy the 400 hour public service requirement for the national Congressional Award.  The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people with bronze, silver and gold medal levels.  Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.

“The hours spent here in the Refuge have made me realize I want to work in the field of science in the future.  It feels great to know I have been a part of all this over these past few years,” Gabrielle said.

Gabrielle has always loved animals, nature, and enjoys her experience at the Refuge.  She is considering her future studies to be in the field of chemistry or environmental science.

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