Mechanicville student delivers winning speech

MECHANICVILLE —  Mechanicville High School senior Julia Amodeo has a new feather to add to her cap just a few months before graduation: first place in the statewide Annual Free Enterprise Marathon for Entrepreneurial High School and College Students.

Amodeo, 17, is a senior at Mechanicville High School and a resident of Halfmoon. She got involved with the Clean Technologies Early College High School program during her junior year. Clean Tech ECHS is a program —led by Ballston Spa Central School District and involves many more area school districts — that prepares high school students for college courses and careers relating to energy efficiency.

Clean Tech competed in the enterprise marathon this year on March 9 at SUNY Plattsburgh and Amodeo placed first for her speech, “Free Enterprise, Why it Works.”

Amodeo said the Clean Tech program involves project based learning geared towards solving real life issues. She said she applied to join Clean Tech ECHS originally because she was interested in learning about technology, but has gotten more out of the program than just knowledge.

“My favorite part would have to be all the people that I’ve met here,” she said.

In order to to compete in the Plattsburgh competition, Amodeo had to first compete in the regional competition at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART facility in Malta in January. Amodeo went to Plattsburgh with a team of four other students. The group placed second place overall for the Innovation and Creativity competition. Despite her win at the regional level, Amodeo said that she hadn’t necessarily been planning on coming in first at the larger competition.

“It was very nerve wracking,” she said. Amodeo also played varsity basketball and soccer at Mechanicville, along with being class president. Her foray into clean energy will continue in her college career, with a major in environmental policy at SUNY Binghamton.

Eventually, she said she would be interested in pursuing international relations, or working at some sort of government level.

“I really enjoy meeting and helping people,” Amodeo said. As a student leader, Amodeo urges anyone wanting to become involved at school or in extra curricular activities to just give it a shot, despite shyness or reservations.

“ It’s worth a shot!” she said.

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