Students learn what it takes to be a congressman

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Submitted/Congressman Frank LoBiondo points out landmarks on the mall to students and family members.  Submitted/Congressman Frank LoBiondo points out landmarks on the mall to students and family members.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP ­– On Thursday, Nov. 15, four Egg Harbor Township High School sophomores – Alec Reid, Jami Hafner, Alysa Sandler, and Sydney McLaughlin – their families and teacher Michael Martirone met and had breakfast with U.S. rep. Frank A. LoBiondo in Washington, D.C.

Student leaders were invited to Washington to discuss the United States’ role as a world leader, daily life in Congress and the legislative process.  The meeting was won by Martirone, who bid on the opportunity earlier this year during the Community Partnership for Egg Harbor Township Schools Inc. charity fundraiser. 

“Congressman LoBiondo was a gracious host,” Martirone said.  “This opportunity allowed students and parents to view the legislative process first hand from the inside.” 

Hafner, 15, was surprised when she learned the demands of a congressman.

“I thought trying to get my classmates motivated and working together was hard,” she said. “Getting leaders in Washington to work together is very difficult and the leaders there are doing their best while also trying to maintain their own lives.” 

Sandler shared a similar viewpoint and said she had no desire to be a member of Congress. 

“Congressmen are away from home a lot and they put their whole life into their job and don’t have much time for anything else,” Sandler said.

For students Reid and McLaughlin, this was their first trip to Washington, D.C. 

“I was pretty overwhelmed when we stood out on the Speakers Balcony,” Reid said.  “It was amazing to see all the monuments lined up like you would see in the pictures.” 

Students were selected to attend the meeting in Washington because of their leadership in and out of the classroom. Earlier in the year, the students spearheaded a class service learning project in their world cultures classes.  The project was designed to raise awareness about global poverty and challenge students to find creative ways to raise money to combat it.  The students chose Heifer International as their charity and eventually raised more than $3,000 for the organization.  

“These kids are natural leaders,” Martirone said.  “It’s my hope that they continue to demonstrate their leadership and inspire their classmates to achieve things they ordinarily never would have imagined.”  

Submitted/ Pictured from left in first row are Lori Rone-McLaughlin, Sydney McLaughlin, Alysa Sandler, Jami Hafner, Alec Reid and Kylie Hafner.  In second row from left are Paul Sandler, Jennifer Reid, Congressman LoBiondo, Donna Hafner, Mark Reid and teacher Michael Martirone Submitted/ Pictured from left in first row are Lori Rone-McLaughlin, Sydney McLaughlin, Alysa Sandler, Jami Hafner, Alec Reid and Kylie Hafner. In second row from left are Paul Sandler, Jennifer Reid, Congressman LoBiondo, Donna Hafner, Mark Reid and teacher Michael Martirone

Submitted/ Pictured from left are Sydney McLaughlin, Alysa Sandler, Congressman Frank LoBiondo,Jami Hafner, Alec Reid and teacher Michael Martirone. Submitted/ Pictured from left are Sydney McLaughlin, Alysa Sandler, Congressman Frank LoBiondo,Jami Hafner, Alec Reid and teacher Michael Martirone.

 

 


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