The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

Generation Citizen Classes Attend the Long Island Youth Summit Competition at St. Joseph’s University

Students who attended the leadership workshop and came up with many different ideas and concepts of what represents a positive leader and what represents a negative leader. Photo courtesy of the Humanities Dept.

Generation Citizen is a course for seniors where each class picks an issue in their school/community, and they take steps to create systemic change and solve the issue.

This year, one class worked on getting sidewalks on Buffalo Avenue so it’s safer for those who walk to school in the mornings along with others who walk there daily. Fortunately, this class was able to make the change as sidewalks will be built on Buffalo in the near future.

The other Generation Citizen class focused on creating change inside the school building. The idea was to create a digital identification system where students can sign into the cafeteria and into school in the mornings with a barcode rather than using an ID card to make the lines go quicker and eliminate other challenges the original system may present.

Although it has not been confirmed that students will be used digital ID cards but next September, Generation Citizen kids are confident that the change will occur gradually and at some point, students will be using various types of technology to check into school each morning. 

Although Generation Citizen is a half-year course that usually only runs the first semester, there are a few activities regarding the class in the second half of the year. One activity that Generation Citizen students take part in is the Long Island Youth Summit Competition at St. Joseph’s University. 

Dr. Catherine Carella-Dean (Director of the Secondary Humanities Department) states, “The St. Joseph’s University Reginal Youth Summit was an excellent opportunity for our students to showcase their participation in government knowledge, their civic skills, and their overall ability to research and present community-based action plans.” 

On Friday April 12th a few students from each class were able to attend the event. We first arrived at the university around 8 am where students had to find their name tag with the workshop they were assigned to attend later in the day.

After that, all classes and schools attending the event walked into the main room where the event would be taking place and had breakfast. Then, the speeches from those hosting the event started and they gave a small description of what the event would consist of and congratulated all the schools for the hard work each and every one of them put into their project. Following that, we got to hear a speech from the president of the university in which he discussed his life story and how he got to where he is today. He encouraged students to follow their goals.  

Groups of students then went to their workshops in all different parts of the building. These workshops were based on key factors of life and the world we live in, such as leadership. Students listened to the instructors of the seminars speak but had many opportunities to participate themselves. The instructors asked many questions about the topic of the seminar and students got to share their answers with the class and decide who would be presenting all the information when everyone attending the event would reconvene.  

After the seminars were over everyone gathered back for lunch and those who were going to be presenting practiced what they were going to say. Each person presenting got to go up and speak about the points discussed in their seminar in front of all 200 people attending the event.  

The final stretch of the event was the award ceremony. Since each teacher sent their classes project in ahead of time, decisions were made on what projects would be winning what awards. The awards were based on what students did in their seminars and mainly their project. Many awards were given out some based-on topics projects were on, visual appearance of the project, along with different qualities and achievements of the students.

Before they began calling people up for awards, they made it clear that whether our group won or not we were still eligible to even attend the event in the first place, which already says something about the quality of our project. The award ceremony felt so long as none of the kids in our group were getting called up. Until the very last award when the class who was going to get sidewalks built on Buffalo won for best overall project which was the highest award they could have recived. This was a huge honor for each student in this class as they put months of work into their project.  

Each student in the class who won this award was overwhelmed with joy and excitement that not only was their project coming to life, as a sidewalk will be built on Buffalo, but they also gained a major recognition in winning “Best Overall Project” in comparison to other projects that were submitted.  

Mr. Carlson, instructor of the Generation Citizen course,” “I could not be more proud of the class. To win the Best Overall Award at the Long Island Youth Summit is an incredible accomplishment. We had to beat 22 schools and over 250 projects that were submitted. The students just did an amazing job with their project and their hard work and dedication was recognized with this award.” 

Regardless of whether the classes won or not it was still an important experience as many students learned a lot from listening to the speeches and seminars. Any youth summit assists students in being able to gather new information and to network.  

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sadie Wisniewski
Sadie Wisniewski, Staff Writer
Class of 2024. Loves: writing, cats, and theater. Fears: failure and heights. Wishes: I could only talk to cats.

Comments (1)

All The Red & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Tyler GleasonMay 1, 2024 at 4:49 pm

    Awesome article, Sadie!