Forest Hills High School raising money for national social studies competition

As a former middle school mathematics teacher, this truly pulled at my heart strings.  I really admire a group of hardworking students who gave up time with friends and family to practice after school and on weekends to prepare for this competion.  As a real estate agent in the area, these kids are our neighbors and I am so proud of their accomplishments.  I will be in Washington DC running a 1/2 marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the week of the competition and I'm going to try to add this to my agenda.  Please read and please support our local community and our future leaders of America.  

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LAW, YOUTH AND CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM OF THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

 

 

 	The team from Forest Hills High School clinched the New York State title in the “We the People” competition in Albany on Jan. 12. The team is now raising money so it can compete in the nationals in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association.)

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LAW, YOUTH AND CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM OF THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

The team from Forest Hills High School clinched the New York State title in the “We the People” competition in Albany on Jan. 12. The team is now raising money so it can compete in the nationals in Washington, D.C.

A hard-working group of Queens high school seniors who won an arduous state social studies competition are now trying to raise money to go on to nationals.

The 34-member Forest Hills High School team must raise $22,000 by March 15 to represent New York State in the “We the People” competition in Washington, D.C., in late April.

“These kids have studied hard. They’ve worked hard,” said Principal Saul Gootnick. “Now’s their chance to achieve on a national level.”

Gootnick has reached out to famous alums like Jerry Springer and Paul Simon in the past for other fundraising initiatives without any luck.

So he’s turned to the community, which has donated about $18,000 of the needed $40,000 to send the students to the Center for Civic Education challenge.

Many students, who are enrolled in the school’s AP Government class, come from single-parent and struggling homes, they said.

“You’d think some of the celebrities that have gone here would show some interest in giving back,” Gootnick said.

The team was broken into six groups that studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then prepared speeches. They had to bone up on the workings of the government and Supreme Court decisions to defend their positions to a panel of judges.

“The students became experts in the Constitution,” said coach Tara Kelly, who began preparations on the first day of class and gave them good odds of clinching the national title. “They could absolutely win.”

The team practiced after school and were required to attend weekly Saturday sessions.

Lillian Misakos, 17, of Maspeth, gave up hanging out with her friends after school to participate. But she said she doesn’t regret it.

“It’s taught me so much,” she said. “I can rival my brother and sister, who are college graduates, when we talk about politics.”

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) said he was proud and excited for the team.

“It’s fantastic they want to understand and get involved in the political process,” he said. “I hope none of them run against me.”

“We the People” spokeswoman Maria Gallo said 50 teams, one from each state, will face off in the nationals, with the top 10 battling it out on Capitol Hill. Winners will receive medals and a trophy.

“We want them to understand not only how government works, but about how they themselves can be active citizens,” she said.

Jahi Abdur-Razzaq, 16, of Rockaway Park, said he’d be happy if his team cracks the top 10.

“I hope we win nationals,” said Abdur-Razzaq, whose apartment was badly damaged by Sandy. “But honestly, I just want to go.”

To make a donation, call the school at (718) 268-3137 or email tkelly8@schools.nyc.gov.

Erica Rose Siegel, CBR, EXIT Kingdom Realty takes pride in ensuring the people she works with are the most educated buyers and/or sellers on the market. Erica gathers a genuine understanding of her customers and clients needs, customizes a plan to meet their specific goals and time frame, then utilizes her impeccable negotiation skills to get her clients the best possible price under the best terms and conditions. 

 Erica' s Siegel is a knowledgeable, trustworthy, dedicated, thoroughly trained, highly recommended REALTOR, who always maintains her ethical integrity and develops lifelong referrals and incredible relationships with the people she works with. Erica Rose Siegel works with a team of extremely productive Real Estate professionals and loves her job! 

 If you are thinking about moving, Erica would love to the opportunity to speak with you! She can be reached at 718 809 7808 or at EricaS@exitkingdomrealty.com.

 


Erica Rose Siegel CBR
     
EXIT Kingdom Realty

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