The two Staten Island seniors, Madeline Belaya, of Curtis High School, and Maxwell Velikodny, of Susan Wagner High School, were each awarded a $500 merit check and a $500 donation to the faculty department of their respective schools.
The contest asked students to write an essay about the structure and balance of power among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. The organization chose the winners based on those they felt had the ability to express clarity of thought and form an opinion.
“At a time when over 50% of high school students nationwide are unable to name all three branches of the federal government, it is great to see Staten Island students like Madeline and Maxwell excelling in civics,” said BP Oddo.
The partnership with the Dreyfuss Civics Initiative follows a similarly successful partnership with iCivics, a not-for-profit organization that teaches students how government works by having them experience it directly through a series of interactive games.