Encinitas’ Margaret “Sissy” Sugarman recently received the Silver Congressional Award, the highest honor the U.S. Congress can bestow upon young civilians recognizing achievement, initiative, and service. Since she was 13 years old, Sissy has been working towards achieving goals in each of the four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration. Sissy’s work included leading free farm tours on her family’s farm, volunteering at a local horse rescue, serving at a veteran’s camp in Alaska, creating a pollinator education program called The Honey Bee Road Show, and hosting charity goat yoga classes for the community. “One of my main goals was to connect people with animals so they would have a better understanding of where their food comes from and how to treat animals with empathy and respect,” she said.

Sissy is a senior in high school attending classes at MiraCosta College. She plans to continue her work to earn the Gold Congressional Award and hopes to someday become a veterinarian.