St. Joseph, SABIS, Agawam among winners at 72nd Model Congress
Students from SABIS International Charter School took three of the top four prizes at the 72nd annual Model Congress at American International College. Agawam High students won three Honorable Mention awards, but the top prize went to a St. Joseph Central high School student.
Nicole Akramoff was voted top delegate at the three day event, earning her a full tuition scholarship to AIC for four years.
More than 250 students from throughout New England and New York participated in the Model Congress, the longest running event of its kind in the country.
They worked on a variety of bills, including legislation that would help expand the use of DNA and fingerprints for the identification and prosecution of criminals; a bill to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil while developing alternative energy sources in the United States by lifting restrictions on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico; and a Welfare Reform Bill that would deny welfare benefits to individuals that do not have a High School diploma or a GED.
The students submitted the legislation prior to the start of Model Congress, and each bill was then debated, amended and voted on during committee meetings. Bills that were approved in committee were taken up the next day in House and Senate sessions.
AIC faculty judges rated the delegates on their debating and oratorical skills, as well as their knowledge and use of Robert's Rules of Order.
Model Congress is organized and run each year by AIC students. Andrew Ledoux, an English major from Seekonk, Mass., served as General Chair for the 72nd Model Congress.
Newly-elected Holyoke mayor Alex Morse addressed the joint session of Model Congress urging the student leaders to stay involved with the governmental process. At 22, Morse is the city's youngest mayor ever.
Springfield City Council president James Ferrera spoke at the awards banquet. Ferrera read a proclamation from the City Council congratulating AIC on its 72 year tradition of Model Congress. (Source: AIC)