Senior Alina Mattson Reflects on her Second Trip to Haiti
I had an opportunity to travel to Haiti with an organization called Work my junior year at Sewickley Academy. What struck me about this organization was their integration into the communities and their promise to make families self-sufficient instead of offering outside solutions that would fix their problems short term. They do this by making sure both parents are in stable jobs and their children are placed in school. While in Haiti, we got to see first hand how Work functions and what they strive to achieve.
Senior Selected as Candidate in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
Senior Aydin Turkay has been named one of more than 4,500 candidates in the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this year.
Middle School Student Wins First Place in Pennsylvania at the National History Day Competition
Grade 8 student Roshni Thakkar won first place in the Junior Individual Website Category of the National History Day (NHD) Competition for Pennsylvania. Her project was called “Nelson Mandela: A Conflicting Journey to Justice.”
Roshni learned about competition when she became a student at Sewickley Academy. “I learned about National History Day last year when I joined this school. I decided to participate in the competition, and wanted to do it again this year,” she said. Middle School history teacher Ms. Kate Lukaszewicz sponsored her project.
The theme of this year’s competition was conflict and compromise in history. “While I was looking for a topic, my family and I decided we were going to South Africa,” she explained. “We watched Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, to get a sense about the South African culture. I fell in love with Mandela's story and knew that that was what I wanted to do for the competition.”
With a topic in mind, Roshni decided to enter the website portion of the competition. “The due date for the website was a month before all of the other entries (except paper). After regionals, I had about a month to make changes before submitting it for states,” she said. According the organization’s website, “The website category is the most interactive of all NHD categories. A website should reflect your ability to use website design software and computer technology to communicate your topic’s significance in history.”
“At the ceremony, they announced the third place winner (who would go to nationals if first or second place could not attend), and then second and first were announced,” Roshni recalled. With great anticipation, she heard her name called for first place. “Winning this contest means a lot to me. I worked really hard on it, and it paid off,” she said.
Ms. Lukaszewicz is very proud of her student. “Roshni went to South Africa and interviewed of people who knew Mandela in prison! She crushed it!” she said. “She will compete at the national contest the week of June 10, in College Park, Maryland. The judges were impressed with her work, writing in her evaluations: ‘Your research is excellent, particularly the oral history interviews’ and that she was ‘very passionate.’”