Student Advocates for Educational Opportunities

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 Rocky Point High School junior Bridgette Meruelo had an up-close look at the democratic process when she was selected to speak on the importance of career and technical education pathways during this year’s BOCES’ organized Advocacy Day.

Joining eight of her classmates enrolled in the Eastern BOCES Fashion Merchandising and Design program, Bridgette spoke before members of the state’s assembly about the need to increase support for these pathways to graduation and the positive experiences of her and her peers.

“I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go for college or what I wanted to do as a career and this opportunity has given me a glimpse into a path I was interested in,” said Bridgette. “My experience with Advocacy Day was very eye-opening as it made me realize how many people have shared experiences and how open our elected officials are to hearing about the students’ perspective.” 

To be selected to participate in the program, Bridgette was required to create a position paper on the topic and deliver a speech before her peers and teachers. During the program, her team of representatives was invited onto the floor of the assembly to speak with New York State Senator Thomas Croci, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo and Assemblyman Joseph Saladino and witness their actions on behalf of the state’s residents.

“This is a unique experience for students, to work as teams and advocacy for something that is important to them and leave knowing that they may have made a difference,” said Principal Susann Crossan.