Four Rivers students recognized for participation in mock-government program

  • Greenfield American Legion Post 81’s Frederick Clark presents Four Rivers Charter Public School’s seniors Rufus Seward, Hjordis Aho and Noah Pitcoff with certificates acknowledging their involvement in the Massachusetts Boys State and Massachusetts Girls State programs. Not pictured is senior Evan Leaf. Staff Photo/David McLellan

  • Four Rivers Charter Public School seniors, from left, Hjordis Aho, Noah Pitcoff and Rufus Seward were presented with certificates by Greenfield American Legion Post 81 in recognition for their participation in the Massachusetts Boys State and Massachusetts Girls State programs. Not pictured is senior Evan Leaf. Staff Photo/David McLellan

  • Four Rivers Charter Public School seniors, from left, Hjordis Aho, Noah Pitcoff and Rufus Seward were presented with certificates by Greenfield American Legion Post 81 in recognition for their participation in the Massachusetts Boys State and Massachusetts Girls State programs. Not pictured is senior Evan Leaf. Staff Photo/David McLellan

  • Four Rivers Charter Public School seniors, from left, Rufus Seward, Hjordis Aho and Noah Pitcoff were recognized Wednesday night by American Legion Post 81 for their participation in the Massachusetts Boys State and Massachusetts Girls State programs. Not pictured is senior Evan Leaf. Staff Photo/David McLellan

Staff Writer
Published: 10/7/2019 5:30:08 PM

GREENFIELD — Each year, local American Legion posts send high school juniors to the Massachusetts Boys State and Massachusetts Girls State programs at Stonehill College in Easton.

The programs, held for a week in June, split the hundreds of students up into different dormitory “communities.” Students within those communities campaign for different mock-government offices, and are elected to take part in mock-government debates, hearings and legislative sessions.

“I didn’t know exactly how powerful this would be,” said Noah Pitcoff, 17, of Greenfield, who was elected to a “state Legislature” during the Massachusetts Boys State program. “I was struck by how different (participants) were and opinions were.”

Pitcoff was one of the four students from Four Rivers Charter Public School who were recognized by American Legion Post 81 in Greenfield on Oct. 2 for their participation in the programs. Along with Pitcoff were Rufus Seward, 16, and Hjordis Aho, 17, both of Greenfield, who received certificates from American Legion members. Four Rivers senior Evan Leaf was also recognized for his participation but could not attend. All four of the students were nominated by their teachers to participate in the American Legion programs.

Aho said she was inspired by the level of interest in civic engagement among her peers in the program.

“I heard so many say they were going to run for office or run for mayor in their communities,” she said.

“It was very different from any school setting I’ve been in,” Seward said. “This was an exercise in building camaraderie and brotherhood and sisterhood with people we had just met in a week.”

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.




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