Charlie Austin, 15, of Brunswick, received the 2021 Citizen Honors Youth Service Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.  . Contributed / USCellular

Charlie Austin, 15, of Brunswick has received the 2021 Citizen Honors Youth Service Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.  The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond to perform acts of heroism and service

Austin was recognized for donating time and money to help fund and develop The Warrior Program, a virtual training program for Special Olympics Maine.

“The Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honors Youth Service Award is one of the highest distinctions for young people whose acts of courage and self-sacrifice symbolize the American spirit,” stated Sen. Susan Collins in announcing the award. “Charlie’s commitment to Special Olympics Maine and helping all Mainers experience the joy of friendly competition is an inspiring example to us all. I wish Charlie all the best on the bright future that lies ahead.”

Austin has been volunteering with the Special Olympics since he was 12, after learning he had a heart condition that meant he could no longer play competitive sports, according to a recent article in The Forecaster.

“I just fell in love with that, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Austin told The Forecaster.

He founded The Warrior Program in 2020 to provide funding to coaches to make and distribute motivational and instructional videos to the Special Olympics athletes to use during the pandemic.

Austin previously received a $10,000 award from USCellular’s annual The Future of Good Program for The Warrior Program.

Each year, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society conducts a nationwide search to select individuals in four categories and one organization to receive their Citizen Honors Awards.  The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958. Its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor.

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