Saturday, April 19, 2014

High school students get lesson in politics and history

January 28. 2014 12:24PM

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Three local high school students, Tom Racek of Abington Heights, Bradley Lochen of Lackawanna Trail and Wyoming Seminary student Lauren Larar, of Waverly, participated in State Sen. John Blake’s Student Ambassador program.

Blake, D-Archbald, welcomed student ambassadors from 16 Northeast Pennsylvania high schools on Jan. 16 and gave them a firsthand glimpse of state lawmaking, citizenship and public service.

The students became ambassadors following a competitive application process. Blake said his first group of diplomats includes some of the region’s finest pupils and future leaders.

Between now and May, Blake will help his ambassadors better understand the ins and outs of state government and what it means to devote their efforts to helping neighbors and communities live better lives.

The 16 ambassadors traveled to Lackawanna College and first learned about Lackawanna County history from Mary Ann Savokinus of the Lackawanna Historical Society. Later in the day, the future leaders heard from Blake’s regional director, Larry West, and Lackawanna County Outreach Manager Fran Pantuso.

After lunch, the ambassadors traveled to Scranton City Hall, met newly installed Mayor Bill Courtright and toured city hall. President Judge Thomas Munley then shared his perspective of county government and the students were later introduced to the Lackawanna County Commissioners.

As part of the program, student ambassadors will later compete for college scholarship assistance through the completion of a critical thinking project and a presentation on a state-related legislative initiative of their choosing.

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