SCRANTON — State Senator John Blake hosted 19 high school seniors from 17 local high schools for a legislative competition at Johnson College as the final event of the 2018 Student Ambassador Program.
The student ambassadors from schools across the 22nd Senatorial District were given an opportunity to make a presentation on a legislative or policy issue to a panel of judges that included Blake, Johnson College president Katie Leonard, Dr. Michael Allison, professor and chair of The University of Scranton Political Science Department; and Kyle Mullins, former legislative director for Sen. Blake.
The winner of the legislative competition for her presentation on school safety protocol was Priya Patel, of Mid Valley. The other presentations in the top four, based on the cumulative scores of the judges, were given by Scarlett Spager, Old Forge; Annie Yurgoski, Lakeland; and Joseph Norvilas, North Pocono. Blake will award the four top-scoring presentations 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 gives high school seniors from each high school in the 22nd Senatatorial 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 next year’s Student Ambassador Program may begin applying in the fall. All information related to the application may be obtained at their schools or by calling Blake’s office at 570-207-2881.