Inspiring young Americans celebrated by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at US ceremony 

November 9, 2022 

Inspiring young Americans celebrated by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, at US ceremony 

For most people, receiving an international accolade from a Royal Prince may seem like a daydream. But last week it became a reality for a group of young Americans.    

Twenty-two, 14 to 24 year-olds from across the United States came together for a very special ceremony with a difference, as they received their Gold and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards from HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex in Washington DC.  

The inspirational group, which spans 35 states, received their Awards following their exceptional perseverance, commitment to community and involvement in out-of-classroom learning. Collectively they have dedicated more 22,000 hours to their development and supported communities through more than 5,870 hours of voluntary service through the Award.     

When congratulating the recipients of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Prince Edward remarked, “I’m sure there were times when you wondered why you were doing it. I certainly remember wondering why when doing my Gold Award, it was about half-way through the Adventurous Journey. But now that it’s over, I hope you can savor that sense of satisfaction and, looking back, feel that it was not only an enjoyable experience, but also a worthwhile one. Most importantly, you have discovered that there is more in you than you think.” 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, personalized youth development program for 14- to 24-year-olds that complements formal classroom learning and focuses on setting progressive goals that build essential life skills such resilience, confidence, creativity, leadership, civic competence, and communication. There are three progressive levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, cultivate a sense of adventure in the outdoors, volunteer in their communities, and step outside their comfort zone.   

“We are delighted to recognize these young people who join a global #worldready alumni group of 18 million,” said Buffy Higgins-Beard, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. “We are inspired by their effort and celebrate the impact of their work for themselves and their communities. We are honored to hear their stories of achievement and celebrate their resilience, personal development, and community involvement.” She continues, “A Gold Award on average takes two years of regular goal-oriented activity. It is extraordinary that these young people persisted through COVID on their personalized journeys.”  

The organization is the world’s leading youth achievement program, which has been running since 1956 and operates in over 130 countries and territories with over one million global participants.  

To find out more about the Award in the United States, please visit To find out more about the Award internationally, visit 

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For more information, case studies or Award content in the United States, contact Dennis Colloton, Colloton Bauer + Luce, 312.228.4780, 

Note to Editors 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA 

The recipients  

HRH The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex and Forfar addressing the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA participants 

Prince Edward speaking with Silver Award Holder Oyin Olukoya and her mother 

Prince Edward speaking with Gold Award Holder Victor Echaniz and mentor Jennifer Raymond 

Gold and Silver Award Holders with CEO Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, British Ambassador Pierce and HRH The Earl of Wessex and Forfar Prince Edward 

British Ambassador Dame Karen Pierce being greeted by Award USA Chair Ryan Ruskin and Prince Edward 

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