Simotas Honors Astoria 8th Graders for Their Essays Commemorating National African American History Month

May 24, 2018

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas honored twenty-one Astoria 8th grade students who attend I.S 10 the Horace Greeley School for participating in the New York State Assembly’s annual African American History Month Essay Contest. She chose four students who excelled in their writing, as contest winners – Andy Hernandez, Rubaiah Hussain, Fahad Khan and Crystal Lozada

On Thursday, May 24, Simotas visited I.S. 10 and gave gold embossed Assembly Citations to the winners and Assembly Certificates of Merit to all the children who participated.

“The contributions of African Americans are a vital part of our history and it is especially important to illuminate the hidden figures who made groundbreaking achievements and can inspire us all,” Assemblymember Simotas told the students.

“Your essays were remarkable because of your insights and your writing ability. I congratulate each of you for doing so well,” Simotas added.

Simotas applauded the students for their talent and the educational content of their essays. Some of the essays focused on well know African American figures in history such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks and renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Others explored the contributions of unsung heroes such as Eunice Hunton Carter, the first black women to get a law degree from Fordham University and the first to work as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Andy Hernandez, who wrote the essay, noted that Assistant District Attorney Carter is credited with helping to prosecute and bring down mafia boss Lucky Luciano.

Assemblymember Simotas thanked English teacher Mrs. Maria Haydn whose class participated in the contest and Principal Clemente Lopes for organizing her visit to confer the Assembly citations.