CVAD Fashion Design junior earns 2023 U.S. Congressional Award
Luis Fraga, a CVAD undergraduate majoring in Fashion Design from Fort Worth, recently was notified he is one of 574 students in the nation to earn the 2023 Congressional Gold Medal Award from the U.S. Congressional Award Foundation in Washington, D.C. The Congressional Award recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in America's youth and is Congress' award for young Americans; it is Congress' only charity.
Many gold medalists will gather at the annual Gold Medal Summit, June 20–22, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Although Fraga does not plan to attend, he said he will receive his medal in July or August when the representatives return to their districts.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, and raised in Zaragoza, in Coahuila, Mexico, Luis said he came to UNT to pursue his desire to evolve as an artist and designer based on CVAD's reputation as a renowned art and design school.
"We live in an era where self-expression is becoming vitally important," Fraga says. "Through a blend of my inspirations from the art world, fashion, skateboarding, music, and Mexican culture, I want to bring to the table something never seen before. With my raw passion for becoming a better version of myself every day and with the ability to reach others, I want to set afoot and be a light to those who look for a change in their lives and their surroundings."
Fraga began his pursuit of the Congressional Award in high school to show holistic scholarly academic accomplishment across multiple domains. The program has various comprehensive categories, including volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration or expedition, each requiring a specific number of hours to meet the requirements of each award level.
To earn the gold medal, Luis completed 400 hours of volunteer public service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and five days and four nights of expedition or exploration over 24 months. He volunteered at animal shelters, cleaned public parks, and mentored youth in the sport of skateboarding. Fraga also created a morning routine for physical fitness that consisted of calisthenics, bodyweight workouts and juicing.
In the personal development category, Luis dedicated his efforts toward succeeding in CVAD's fashion design program, studying the concepts, processes, terminology, and techniques used in the fashion industry. In the exploration portion, Luis planned an expedition to Tokyo by researching Japanese cultural pastimes, national landmarks, architecture, national parks, and museums to learn about their motivations and society, considering his goal of traveling to Japan one day.
"As an older sibling of five, a skateboarder, and a Latino, setting the right example is very important to me to influence and improve my community. The Congressional Award was a great start to pursuing this goal. This journey has allowed me to evolve as an individual physically and spiritually, as well as become closer to my community through my acts of service. It made me determined, responsible, and a believer that anyone can succeed if they surround themselves with the right people and set their mind to achieve their goals. Now that the ball is rolling, I will continue to pursue my passions and goals not only for me but for the world itself."