Student testimonials on the 2013 Euro Challenge competition
MIAMI PALMETTO SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
AP European History teacher
Miami Palmetto Senior High School
The Euro Challenge Competition is a unique opportunity for ninth and tenth grade students to dig deeply into economics and to learn about the European Union. It teaches students not only economic concepts and research skills but requires teamwork and presentation skills. Students who volunteer for this experience are self -motivated students who have a love of learning. It is an amazing process for the teacher to watch students research a country, an economic challenge, and see students create viable economic solutions for the challenge. The most creative part of the process is crafting a scenario for the presentation and then writing the script. It is actually watching the birth of a program and the flowering of intellectual, interpersonal and presentation skills in a group of highly motivated 10th grade students. The trip to the Federal Reserve in New York City is a wonderful reward for our students. This has been a wonderful experience for me and my students.
Miami PalmettoSenior High School
Euro Challenge required dedication from the beginning. At first glance, it may seem like an impossible task that few students are ready to undertake. Learning the basics of economics, becoming aware of the current European economic situation, and solving a part of a country’s economy are a few aspects that the competition entails. However, although it was difficult at times, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. With my newly acquired knowledge of the Eurozone and the European Union, I was able to open my eyes to another part of the world I was not yet familiar with. Participating in the Euro Challenge Competition, while simultaneously taking AP European History, allowed me to understand the background of European integration as it developed into today’s situation. I am now able to carry on conversations with both my peers and family concerning the European state of affairs and have developed a great interest in the field of economics. In addition, I learned new skills that will be of great use throughout my life, such as public speaking, researching a topic thoroughly and answering difficult questions I am presented with. The value of this knowledge and skills cannot be matched except with the memories and friendships I have made. The Euro Challenge Competition did not lie on any sole person’s shoulders; it was a team effort. Each member of the team contributed substantially as we worked together to complete our presentation. We formed bonds with one another that only strengthened as the competition continued on. Following our success in the regional competition, we then traveled to New York City for the Semi-Finals. We created the greatest memories while there and each day was a new adventure in the city. The hard work and dedication put into the Euro Challenge Competition rewarded us greatly with knowledge and satisfaction. Years from now, I will look back and remember the wonderful memories I have made through this experience and reflect on how it impacted my life in the long run.
Miami PalmettoSenior High School
Euro Challenge was a fantastic experience. The entire process was extremely rewarding and I have learned so much from it. Researching the history of the EU and the current financial crisis has introduced me to economics and I have developed an interest for it. Additionally, I am more aware of the connections within different countries, industries, and governments. Euro Challenge also helped me with presentation skills and answering questions on the spot. I feel like a much better public speaker. Any student who receives the opportunity to participate in Euro Challenge should definitely take advantage of that because it is an introduction to an entirely different world that is generally not covered in high school until senior year.
Besides the new information I learned, just the actual experience in itself was amazing. I was on a team with my best friends and we grew even closer through this experience. We had to work extremely hard on our presentation and rehearse it many times, but we pushed each other and were ecstatic when we received the opportunity to go to Nationals in New York. The trip to New York was wonderful and I will never forget it. We went to the Metropolitan Art Museum, MOMA, Times Square, and countless other places. The actual competition took place inside the Federal Reserve Bank and it was such a privilege to be able to see that. I will always remember my first trip to New York and I'm grateful to my team, my teacher, and Euro Challenge for giving me that opportunity. Euro Challenge is definitely an experience I'll never forget.
Miami PalmettoSenior High School
My name is Orko Sarkar, and I participated in the Euro Challenge competition for the 2012-2013 school year. Quite frankly, that was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Over the course of preparing for the competitions, I learned an incredible amount of economics; a field which I have always desired to possess more knowledge in, but never had gotten around to doing. This learning was achieved by almost complete immersion; my group chose Italian unemployment as our topic, and after the choice was made, I spent countless hours in front of a computer screen, researching not only the hard numbers of Italy’s economy, but also the lifestyle. I even found myself reading things that may not have been directly related to our topic – after getting a taste of this amazing subject, I needed more! The other aspect of Euro Challenge has to do with people. Over the course of this competition, I got to know certain people extremely well. My team comprised of 5 best friends, so we had the experience of our lives, getting to research, produce a product, present, and win! This brings me to another highlight of doing Euro Challenge, the trip to New York. To put it simply, New York was the chance of a lifetime, one that I could only have dreamed of having. Not only did we get to go to New York, and go sightseeing, but the team got to know each other better, as well as meeting members from other teams. We even got to meet a countless number of foreign dignitaries, people so important that I had never even dreamed of getting to meet them. All in all, choosing to compete in Euro Challenge this year was a decision I don’t regret, and produced many memories which I am sure I will look fondly upon for years to come. It is definitely something I would recommend to any aspiring freshmen or sophomores.
CORAL REEF SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
Coral Reef Senior High School
Very few times in one's life does an experience come along that changes his view of the world. Such was the Euro Challenge. As I walked into the Federal Reserve Bank of New York City, I felt a rush of academia, knowledge, information, and a want for betterment of the world. My interaction with my fellow peers from around the country made me sense the same characteristics in them.
Being involved in Euro Challenge not enhanced my perspective of the relationship between the United States and the Euro Zone, but also enlightened me on the problems surrounding our world as a whole, and potential solutions to these very important issues.
I started out with my team with a limited knowledge of the euro, most of it stemming from my AP European History class. However, as I bonded closely with my group, we began discovering important pieces of information about this highly intricate system of economics. Our first task, much like any other team, was to learn more about economics as a whole, on which we were expected to be well versed. After this momentous task, our focus shifted to applying these concepts to our country of choice, Ireland.
As we made our way to New York City, a kind of anxiety was present over all of my team mates, but at the same time, we knew that whatever the result, we would be sure to have an amazing time. After watching the winning team's presentation, we felt quite amazed and were enthralled!
I sincerely thank the Moody's Foundation, and the European Union for the experience that I received and I hope that I am able to spread the knowledge I have gained to people I meet, so that we all become better informed about the status of global diplomacy and economics.
The Euro Challenge is truly a contest that inspires an entire generation, and I hope for its further popularization in the years to come, as I potentially think about a career in economics.
Coral Reef Senior High School
Euro challenge has unequivocally changed my life, as well as my outlook into the modern day European Union.
As a child, I was first introduced to the EU through my German language classes in elementary and high school. I learned a few important dates, like when the Euro was established and the rights given to European Union members. However, I never delved deep into the meat of the current economic situation. Now, this might seem a bit ironic coming from a person who wants to live in Europe as an adult!
This competition can be compared to throwing a group of people into a pit of sharks—and then telling them to find a way out. Our team was thrown into the declining economy of Ireland, and we had to come up with practical long- and short-term solutions to generate an economic turnaround. Thus began the process of research and meetings, until I can say that I memorized the net emigration rate and its effect on the Irish economy by heart! Although I was only an alternate, I feel like everyone in the club worked together to foster a project that was representative of our individual strengths and weaknesses. We were able to evade the sharks by working together. And this teamwork extended itself into the creation of lasting friendship between the rest of the group and myself.
Finally, I want to sincerely thank the Federal Reserve Bank, the Moody’s Foundation, and the European Union Center of Excellence for making the Euro Challenge possible. Without them, I could not have had such a great experience that expanded my knowledge of the place that I want to live in when I grow up!