Testimonials 2010

Student testimonials on the 2010 Euro Challenge competition

MIAMI PALMETTO SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Samantha Agron Image

Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Grade 10

The Euro Challenge competition gave me a unique opportunity to further my studies outside of the classroom and to learn about a subject that I am not only interested in, but that is extremely relevant in today's economic situation. I gained indispensable knowledge about economics and the European Union, which I think most Americans do not know much about. I also gained a deep appreciation for my team's country, Ireland, and by watching other teams' presentations in New York, I understood how the economic situation in one Euro Area country affects all the others. Simply put, the Euro Challenge competition taught more than I could have imagined when I first joined my school's team, and I recommend the competition to anyone interested in Europe or economics, and looking for a fun, educational experience.

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Joelle Deleveaux Image

Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Grade 10

Euro Challenge has been an unbelievable experience for me. I have learned so much over the course of a few short months spent drilling, practicing, and studying with my team. Euro Challenge isn’t just a competition about economics; it encompasses far more than that. Euro Challenge helped me consider more than just what goes around locally, and helped me gain a global perspective on not just the economy, but also politics and diplomatic relations. It offers a unique opportunity to see the world from an international viewpoint. The months that I have spent learning have enhanced my knowledge of what’s going on inside the economy and changed my view of the world as a whole. One of the most valuable parts of the whole experience was to be able to see the new opportunities and avenues that I can now take. If I had not been involved in the Euro Challenge competition, I might not have considered any of the many new options that I now have available. In the end, I have benefited greatly from Euro Challenge, and I am grateful for the experiences that I have had and the opportunities that it has opened for me.

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Alyssa Rosenfeld Image

Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Grade 10

I, like almost all of my classmates, had never heard of the Euro Challenge before this October when our teacher mentioned it. However, after months of involvement in the competition, I am proud to say that Euro Challenge was my major commitment throughout my sophomore year of high school. I spent hours and hours researching and rehearsing with my teammates, and, looking back on the experience, don’t regret a minute of it. Euro Challenge is unlike any other academic activity I have been involved in. Whenever I participated in a math or science competition, the preparation was always about drilling facts into our heads. Euro Challenge on the other hand introduced me to a whole new subject. I have never studied economics, let alone that of the European Union. We learned not just facts from an economics textbook, but how these concepts relate to real life. My eyes were opened up to issues that I had never noticed before- issues which I had heard mentioned on the news before but never bothered listening to. Through examining the current economic issues in the Euro Area, I not only learned about the situation occurring thousands of miles away, but also, indirectly, discovered those issues facing the United States and the people around me. I have learned why this “economic recession” that has been in the news for over two years actually occurred, what its consequences are, and what governments and people can do to try to better the situation. I learned teamwork skills as well as how to maintain composure when making a presentation to judges. The Euro Challenge is an opportunity that I would recommend to all high school students, and an experience that I will never forget.

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Lucia Ruan Image

Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Grade 10

My experience participating in the Euro Challenge competition was definitely worthwhile, despite not winning. Not only was I able to immerse myself in European current events, I also became more knowledgeable in real life skills. My new knowledge on economics allows me to better understand the business section of the newspaper, which has always been a mystery to me. Not only that, but learning about European current events while keeping up with national news in the United States gave me a way to compare the two and better understand the concept globalization. Thus, I was able to comprehend how the EU and the United States affected each other, and what that meant for our state of economy. The social aspects of the competition were also important. It was great meeting people involved in the workings of the EU, as well as people across the United States who shared with me similar experiences to get to where we were in New York. Overall, I would recommend for others to participate in this wonderful once in a lifetime event. It was fun!

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CORAL REEF SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Perihan Elbadrawi Image

Coral Reef Senior High School
Grade 10

Having the opportunity to visit New York City this spring to compete in the Euro Challenge competition, has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. As someone who hopes to be able to work in International Relations, having the opportunity to see individuals who were the leading experts and officials in their fields was perhaps one of the greatest advantages. The process of preparing for the competition was also particularly rewarding, after reading dozens of articles about the state of the European economy, the debt crisis in Greece, the unemployment problem in Spain, etc., I have gained so much knowledge about Europe, its economy, and economics in general. As a high school student who was taking an AP Macroeconomics course, this competition allowed me to understand and implement the principles that I was learning in the classroom.

The Euro Challenge competition has truly changed my life and has made me a better student, speaker, researcher, communicator, and most of all an individual who is aware of the world around her. It has been a particularly interesting year to participate in this economics competition due to the global financial crisis. However, I have found it most rewarding because of the opportunity to assess problems that were truly grave and affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world.

Being given the incredible chance to visit New York and all of its amazing sites was only the icing on the cake. Having the opportunity to present in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York City, attend a reception at the Moody’s Institute, speak with so many amazing individuals from around the country—students, teachers, diplomats, economists, etc., has opened my horizons for my endeavors and career in the future.

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Barbara Jerome Image

Coral Reef Senior High School
Grade 10

I always wondered why New York was termed the city that never sleeps. Sure I had heard of the wonders that permeated this contemporary yet ancient city, but I never understood the conventionality of this symbol. Well, this year I learned the meaning of such due to a Euro Challenge affiliated revelatory sojourn to the natural jungle of concrete, where only one unique species can survive, the dreamer. In effect, New York is a constant daydream, where the city never sleeps because the lights are always illuminated, where the flamboyant tinder of entrepreneurialism is perpetuated. The lights are not always on in the sense that time square is a luminous mélange of colors, but it is to be understood as the never ending machine that whirrs in each individual’s brain as the future of the world is centered in this one city’s never ending supply of caffeine. In addition, in visiting New York, when I became a dreamer, the cartoonist colored in my light bulb yellow, I had been initiated into the New Yorker’s mindset, striving to do my best, but not only that, redefining what “my best” really meant. As aforementioned, this visit was proposed in affiliation with the Euro Challenge competition, which allowed me not only to leave my trace in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a competitor, but the Federal Reserve now runs through my veins too. It might leave a bruise here and there, but in the end, I have gained knowledge I had never even been disposed to acquire prior to this experience. Now I can say I know Sarkozy, he is no longer a figure head, but rather a list of policies for France, for better or for worse, with a face. Now I can say that fiscal policy is no longer just a term, but the difference between having a roof or not over your head. Now I can say that money is not what affects an economy, but how it is defined. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to say that the economy is not just what sustains life, but what sustains my life.

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G. HOLMES BRADDOCK SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Yadira Capaz Image

G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
Grade 10

I began Euro Challenge in 9th grade when my history teacher asked our class if we would like to participate. I knew next to nothing about Economics or the European Union/Euro Zone then yet I quickly took up the challenge of learning and presenting a substantial amount of information on such subjects for the competition. Looking back, the logic of my decision seems faulty but I don't regret it one bit. Within a month, I was a Euro expert-- well, as much as a 9th grader can be (which turned out to be quite a lot actually).

I remember thinking we were so lucky to participate in the competition at the time of the economic crisis. Unfortunate as the global situation was, it worked to our advantage. I don't think our learning experience could have been nearly as exciting without such historically-impacting drama. I felt very up-to-date and I really liked that. Alas, although my team's presentation was creative, we didn't cover everything we should have as professionally as we could so we didn't make it to semi-finals in New York. We were devastated. Regardless, I wouldn't have taken back the fun Saturday meetings at the FIU library or the habitual lunch afterward or the grueling research hours or the feeling of expertise about Europe and economics.

We knew we'd lost in 9th grade but we were determined to triumph in 10th grade. We managed a smooth, informed presentation with little bits of humor here and there for personality. We poured all our effort into the competition and even had Estefania and Economics databases become best friends. Our hard work paid off and we made it to semi-finals! Finally, the New York days arrived! We had three full days in New York with the middle day being the competition. We took advantage of our spare time and went sightseeing since some of us (including myself) had never been to New York City before. The Marriott was comfy and New York City felt like home to me.

On competition day, we didn't make it to finals but this time we weren't utterly destroyed. We stayed to watch the finalists and learned a lot about what the judges looked for. The well organized Euro Challenge organizers arranged for judges and other experts to mingle with us and plenty of satisfying conversations arose. We didn't win first place in the Euro Challenge but that was never our reason for participating. Through the Euro Challenge, I learned a lot about economics and Europe; I learned many life lessons/skills and created wonderful memories. The Euro Challenge was definitely worthwhile.