January 15, 2015
The NHD contest, designed for middle school and high school students, begins each spring and runs through regional, state, and national levels. The team of three boys that visited Sharpton is one of 20 led by Christy Marrella, an eighth-grade teacher at Rosa International, the Courier-Post reports.
"I have seen the NHD project change students' lives. Besides learning how to research, it gives them a voice and confidence, helps them define themselves and teaches them how to work in a group," said Marrella, who is in her ninth year of overseeing NHD projects with both middle and high school students.
Participation in the competition is an extracurricular activity that often has students putting in upwards of 1,000 hours on their project, which span much of the school year. Marella's teams have by now built a track record of success, placing highly in 2009, 2011, and 2014 with projects on subjects such as the Constitution and American revolutionary Thomas Paine.
Sharpton, founder of the civil-rights non-profit National Action Network (NAN), was pleased with the interview and afterward credited the boys on Facebook for their impressive research. The team will now be taking clips from their interview to include in their 10-minute documentary on the contest's "Leadership and Legacy" theme.
The regional contest will be held March 28 at Princeton University.