AmbassadorGroup1SCRANTON, May 19, 2016 – State Senator John Blake today hosted high school seniors from 10 local school districts for a legislative competition at the University of Scranton as the final event of this year’s 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 Sen. Blake; State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski; Dr. Jean Harris, Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Scranton; and Kyle Mullins, legislative director for Sen. Blake.

“This is the third year that we have hosted the Student Ambassador Program and each year I come away more and more impressed with our students and particularly their knowledge and intellect,” Blake said. “Congratulations to all of the students who participated throughout the year. This program is a great opportunity for the students to get an insider’s view of my work as a state Senator, but it is also a great chance for me to work with our bright young students and hear about the issues and policies that matter most to them, their families and their peers to better inform my decisions in Harrisburg.”

The team of Holy Cross senior Sarah Sporko and Dunmore senior Riley McNally were the winners of the legislative competition. Another team, Valley View senior Kyle Kolcharno and Lakeland senior Antonio Cerminaro were the runners-up. Senator Blake will be awarding the two top scoring teams scholarship assistance for their post secondary academic pursuits.

For the presentation, the student ambassadors worked in teams of two and 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 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 September. All information related to the application can be obtained at their schools or by calling Senator Blake’s office at 570-207-2881. Student ambassadors are nominated and recommended for participation in the program through an interview process with their school administrators, teachers or guidance counselors.
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