Sunpreet Singh of Jamaica always has had an interest in public discourse in New York City and beyond.
“I remember when I was a kid — I would get up and I couldn’t wait to go on the computer and read about news and current events,” he said.
Now completing his sophomore year at Hillcrest High School, his extracurricular activities include karate and jujitsu, where he is working on earning his green belt.
But his interest in civics came to include history, government and possibly politics, and he is seeking some community financial support to move that dream forward at a three-week student leadership conference at Princeton University.
The Junior Statesman Summer School program, beginning in July, will allow Singh to meet and interact with students from across the country as they study and discuss world issues.
He has received a partial scholarship, but still is attempting to raise an additional $3,600 to pay for the textbooks and all other academic expenses, along with room and board for the three weeks. His fundraising page is fundraise.jsa.org/sunpreet.
Singh said others first learned of the program and encouraged him to give it a shot.
“I’m part of the Model United Nations [at Hillcrest],” he said. “I’ve been to three other conferences, including one at the UN. I first heard about it from my guidance counselor. Then the school started getting emails from the program saying that I looked like a good candidate.”
He filled out the application, and the group apparently was impressed.
“I’m one of only three New York City students attending,” he said.
Subject matters, according to the JSS website, will include politics, international relations and economics.
A selling point is the Ivy League institution’s location in New Jersey, which organizers said allows the students who are accepted to take field trips to historic sites and monuments in places like Philadelphia and New York City, including the United Nations.
“I think I was a little bit nervous,” Singh said. “Now I’m more excited.