State Senator John Blake recently hosted high school seniors from 14 local high schools for a legislative competition at Penn State Scranton as the final event of the 2019 Student Ambassador Program.
The student ambassadors from schools across the 22nd Senatorial District were paired together and given an opportunity to make a presentation on a legislative or policy issue to a panel of judges that included Sen. Blake; state Rep. Kyle Mullins; Penn State Scranton Chancellor Dr. Marwan Wafa and Dr. Michael Allison, Professor and Chair of the University of Scranton Political Science Department.
“The Student Ambassador Program is a really wonderful opportunity for our high school seniors and each year I am genuinely impressed by the quality of our students and the education they are receiving at our school districts,” Blake said. “The program also allows me to learn about how the issues we are debating in Harrisburg are affecting our schools, our students and their families.”
The winning team of the legislative competition was Chloe Calabro (Forest City) and Kristina Gorel (Carbondale Area) who did a presentation on standardized testing. The second highest scoring presentation was given by Kaitlin Ahern (Dunmore) and Jamise Sealey (Pocono Mountain West). Senator Blake will be awarding the top two scoring teams scholarship assistance for their post-secondary academic pursuits.
For the presentation, the student ambassadors were tasked with putting themselves in the shoes of a state senator and proposing a new law or policy of interest to them regarding transportation, education, emergency preparedness, environmental protection or human services. Each presentation was scored by the four judges on the substance of the proposal as well as on the strength of the argument
The Student Ambassador Program, which started six years ago, gives high school seniors from each high school in the 22nd Senate District an opportunity to represent their school in a number of meetings, tours and government networking events designed to help participants gain a better understanding of all levels of government and to develop critical thinking and leadership skills with an emphasis on public service.
Students interested in participating in Senator Blake’s Student Ambassador Program next year can begin applying in the Fall. All information related to the application can be obtained at their schools or by calling Senator Blake’s office at 570-207-2881.