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The St. Joseph's Model Congress team and advisers.

St. Joe Student Takes Top Prize at Model Congress

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Nicole Akramoff was awarded four-year scholarship to American International College.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nicole Akramoff, a student at St. Joseph's Central High School, was voted best delegate at the 72nd annual Model Congress at American International College's Model Congress.

Her first-place finish earned Akramoff a full-tuition, four-year scholarship valued at more than $100,000 at the Springfield college. She is the daugher of Joseph and JeanneMarie Akramoff of Canaan, N.Y., and was named a commended student in the National Merit Program.

More than 250 students from throughout New England and New York attended the three-day event that ran from Jan. 12 to 14. The AIC Model Congress is the longest running event of its kind in the country. The students debated, amended and voted on legislation during legislative committee meetings. Bills that were approved in committee were taken up the next day in House and Senate sessions.

The St. Joseph delegates, led by advisers Gordon Roberts and Tammi Dunham, submitted a bill aimed at limiting the amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice. The delegates also sponsored the Juvenile Employment Act to provide work experience and monetary benefits for youths living in detention centers.

Model Congress is organized and run entirely by AIC students, while AIC faculty members are judges. The judges rate the delegates on their debating and oratorical skills, as well as their knowledge and use of Robert's Rules of Order.

Newly-elected Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse addressed the joint session of Model Congress urging the student leaders to stay involved with the governmental process. At 22, Morse is the city's youngest mayor ever.

Springfield City Council President James Ferrera spoke at the awards banquet. Ferrera read a proclamation from the City Council congratulating AIC on its 72-year tradition of Model Congress.

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