Borough President Speaks to Hillcrest about Importance of Education
By Zainab Tahir, Editor-in-Chief
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz Took Questions
Photos by: Mutasem Sayeedi and Bacilio Bencosme
Former Hillcrest graduate and current Queens Borough President Melinda Katz recently visited Hillcrest to help lead an invigorating discussion about government with senior students from Mr. Malik’s government class on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The students were prepared and prepped with questions regarding her views on a variety of governmental affairs, which she graciously responded to.
The questions and responses covered a plethora of topics including questions on why tax money was not going towards school infrastructure and how government affects the moral formation of a citizen. Ms. Katz pensively stated, “It’s an age old question about politics,” further expanding upon the idea by saying “I think we make society judgments, and what is good for society or is passible legislation today, might not have been passable fifty years ago.” Through answering these crucial questions, Ms. Katz was able to provide these aspiring students with the answers necessary to dispel common fears about what it means to be involved in government.
The Queens Borough President was very persistent in encouraging students to increase participation in their local communities. Most often, the youth play a very important role in shaping our politics and often have the drive and determination to create positive change. Ms. Katz encouraged this idea, as she enthusiastically stated, "Volunteering to get involved in the civic area is important.” Katz believes that through youth participation, we secure future leaders.
Ms. Katz herself recalled her journey towards becoming Queens Borough President. She grew up in Forest Hills, while attending Hillcrest High School. From there she went on to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, later earning her law degree from St. John's. She began working at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges for several years before running for the NY State Assembly. She served as a New York City Councilwoman from 2002-09 before leaving to work at Greenberg Traurig, another law firm. She returned to politics in 2013 to run for Queens Borough President.
Melinda Katz comes from a family with a long history in civic involvement. This translates through her actions and her willingness to help fight to make Queens a better place for the future generations. Hillcrest High School is very grateful for her visit to the school and hopes the students there are able to take their experiences in pursuit of their future endeavors.
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