Outstanding Young Citizen Awardees


2024 Outstanding Young Citizens

will be announced Thursday, April 25!

Congratulations to our 2024 Outstanding Young Citizens.


Miriam Spak

Pittsburgh Obama (The Barack Obama Academy of International Studies), 11

Megan Spak

Academic Achievement

Academic High Honor Roll – Maintained highest possible GPA for all of high school, currently ranked first in my class, Recipient – 3 Years
YMCA Conference on National Affairs – Chosen to attend national public policy conference twice, 1 out of 30/600+ student delegates to receive Distinguished Delegate award for outstanding student leadership in 2023, Delegate – 2 Years
Pennsylvania Youth and Government Senate Chair – Elected statewide twice to chair a mock committee at a model legislative conference in Harrisburg, received the Outstanding Senate Chair award (given to the top Senate chair in the state) both times, Senate Chair – 2 Years
Y-USA National Youth Advocate – 1 of 2 students from Pennsylvania and 54 nationwide selected to advocate for the YMCA’s legislative priorities to members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Also chosen to moderate a panel with Y-USA CEO Suzanne McCormick and fellow Youth Advocates, Youth Advocate – 1 Year

Extracurricular Activities

Debate Team – Competes in Congress event (first Obama Academy student to place at a tournament post-pandemic) and help to introduce debate concepts to new students, Co-Captain – 2 Years
CMU Project Ignite – Selected to participate in an interdisciplinary, research-based program at CMU. Worked on projects with other high schoolers under the mentorship of Carnegie Mellon University undergraduates, Attendee – 2 Years
Pennsylvania Youth and Government (Obama Chapter) – President of club with 55 students. Plans all meetings, communicates with other club leaders, and responsible for fundraising (has raised $2000+ plus dollars to date to cover costs of conferences and transportation), Delegation Leader – 3 Years
My School Votes – Leads voter registration drives at Obama Academy, Student Ambassador – 1 Year
Student Council member, Representative – 2 Years

Community Involvement

Riverstone Books, Bookseller – 1 Year
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Teen Volunteer – 1 Year
Children of Steel (community service organization) – Started a chapter at my school, which is now the largest service club; leading initiatives such as free tutoring for elementary schoolers, fundraisers for local charities, and making greeting cards for isolated seniors; currently serve as the Human Resources Officer on COS’s Executive Board., President – 2 Years


After graduation, I plan on attending a 4-year university to study English and public policy. I hope to take the necessary prerequisites for medical school and study to become an obstetrician. I also hope to engage in meaningful volunteer work and join the Peace Corps someday. I firmly believe that charity begins at home, so my biggest goal is to uplift and support those around me in whatever profession and location I choose,