Three area students were honored for accomplishments recently by members of Congress from their representative districts.
Josh Santiago of Harrison High School has earned kudos by winning the 2013 annual Eighth Congressional District Art Competition. This year’s theme was “Vision of Justice.”
Josh, 17, who will be starting his junior year at Harrison High this fall, is the son of Ruben Santiago and Isabel Gonzalez.
Josh, whose work was chosen as best from among some 150 entries collected from around the Eighth District, represented by Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), used a drypoint tool to carve out the image of an eagle on a clayboard engraving and, inside the eagle’s eye, a representation of the American flag.
The title for his exhibit was “Vision of Justice.”
Josh said he chose to portray “two symbols of America” in his work. The project took him about three hours to complete, he said.
A spokeswoman for Sires said that Josh’s creation will be mounted inside the tunnel linking the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate which is crossed frequently by members of Congress and visitors.
Josh credited his dad, an amateur illustrator, with being his inspiration. After completing high school, Josh plans “to become a creative artist. I like animations, in particular.”
Meanwhile, Veronica Periera of Kearny High School and Amanda Awad of North Arlington High School were among nearly 30 secondary school students from throughout the Ninth Congressional District, along with their families, who were invited to the annual Valedictorian Breakfast hosted by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson).
The students, all high school seniors, were recognized for having graduated at the top of their class.
“As a former educator, I know the sacrifices that are made each day in the classroom in order for our students to secure a brighter future. Our hardworking students have done their part, and in turn, I remain committed to keeping student loan rates stable, fighting to ensure a pathway to citizenship for young adults, and making sure quality, affordable healthcare is available to each of these graduates as they enter the workforce,” Pascrell said.
– Ron Leir