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Demonstrating Civic Skills; 25 Students Earn the NYS Seal of Civic Readiness

From experience working in high school student government, to researching building accessibility issues to becoming a certified translator for a program that helps families prevent behavior problems to researching inequities in the medical field for minorities, most of the civics projects completed by Amherst Central High School seniors who are working toward their New York State Seal of Civic Readiness (NYSSCR) started through a personal connection or interest.

student with computerAaisha Muhujees focused a portion of her civics project on The Incredible Years, a collection of interconnected, research-based programs for parents, children and teachers with the goal of preventing and curing behavior problems in children while also promoting their social emotional and intellectual ability. She went through an 11-week training to become an interpreter in the program to use her ability being fluent in more than one language to help parents from different backgrounds.

Zoey Schoenfeldt based her civics project on a friend's need for building accessibility. Her project focused on areas within ACHS that could be improved or made more accessible. Her plan also included action steps.

student talks to adultZoey and Aaisha were two of 25 students that completed the requirements to earn points in two areas: Civic Knowledge and Civic Participation. Students earned points toward the seal requirements through social studies coursework or advanced classes, electives that promote civic engagement, mastery or proficiency on social studies Regents, service learning,extra-curricular or work-based learning and the culminating high school civic project.

Students presented their final projects during a Civics Fair in the cafeteria to family, town officials and elected leaders. Amherst Central High School is one of the schools in Western New York that piloted the NYSSCR during the 2021-22 school year.

“We are very proud of our students who earned the Seal of Civic Readiness this year as part of our pilot of this important initiative,” said Scott Lawniczak, assistant principal and coordinator of the NYSSCR program. “These Tigers embody the democratic and civic ideals that we need more of in our democracy and serve as a beacon of hope for our future."

Students who earn the NYSSCR are recognized with additional regalia at graduation and an additional seal/emblem on their diploma. Earning the seal is an opportunity for students to distinguish themselves as being ready and equipped to make a positive difference in their community through the combination of civic knowledge, skills and actions, mindsets and experiences.

Students involved are Haylee Agostino, Baian Almarawi, Jordan Benefield, Elliott Borden, Aidan Carbery, Jane Carney, Caleb Cudney, Taelor Desnoes, Liat Forrest, Hannah Gabelnick, Max Hodin, Nishaant Jacobus, Sara Koteras, Meredith McIntyre, Aaisha Mohamed Muhujees, Quinten Rondeau, Giovanni Russo, Zoey Schoenfeldt, Faye Stiffler, Leo Stiffler, Jane Tresco, Dominic Vivolo, Taylor Wolf, Lily Zent and Tatjana Zivkovic.

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group shot of students