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Seal of Civic Readiness

Arlington High School senior, junior and Arlington HS Students that presented their Seal of Civic Readiness Capstone projects sophomore students presented their Seal of Civic Readiness Capstone projects on Tuesday, June 11.

The Seal of Civic Readiness is a NYSED initiative designed to promote civic knowledge, mindsets, skills, and actions within New York State Schools. Arlington Central School District has averaged 380 to 415 of our graduating seniors earning the designation on their high school diploma since we served as a pilot district during the 2021-2022 school year. 

The Seal of Civic Readiness High School Capstone Project is a large project requiring students to: Identify and analyze a local issue/problem, evaluate alternative solutions, design and/or execute a solution for this problem, take informed action to address the issue, reflect upon what they have learned and present their projects to the Seal of Civic Readiness Committee. Students who successfully complete the High School Capstone Project automatically earn the Seal upon graduation.

Civic Engagement and Leadership Class Projects: 
JOHN BELLANTONE, Class of 2025
John centered his project around helping those in need, as he designed a clothing drive within the St. Denis Roman Catholic Church congregation. After several donation events, John was able to collect over 1400 pounds of clothing that was donated to the St. Vincent De Paul organization for distribution at local shelters.

BRENDON CHAN, Class of 2025
For his project, Brendon decided to focus on the technology generation gap and how it negatively affects senior citizens. Brendon worked with the Town of Poughkeepsie Recreation Department to address concerns of the seniors within the town. Brendon created user-friendly pamphlets on how to communicate using your phone and internet safety. The pamphlets have been generously donated to the Town of Poughkeepsie Senior Center.

RYAN CHICK, Class of 2024
As a student interested in business and becoming an entrepreneur, Ryan wanted to help those in the community that were struggling with meeting basic needs. Ryan held a child and teen clothing drive at Arlington High School to benefit the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie.

NYLA COLLINS, Class of 2024
Nyla worked with Hope On A Mission, a Poughkeepsie-based organization that helps those in need. Nyla collected, prepared and distributed food donations at one of their local events in the City of Poughkeepsie.

DYLAN COHEN, Class of 2024
As a volunteer at the Pawling Resource Center, Dylan understood the needs that existed in the community and wanted to allow students at Arlington High School to help. Dylan hosted a food drive and collected over twenty-five pounds of food donations.

Katherine and her family have fostered dogs for years and are familiar with the needs of local shelters and rescue organizations. Katherine hosted a donation drive at local businesses and for her friends and family. She collected hundreds of items and was able to make donations to Incredible Pups Pet Rescue, Hudson Valley Animal Rescue Shelter, and the Dutchess County SPCA.

Brianna chose to focus her project on loneliness among senior citizens within our community. Brianna hosted a “dessert social” for senior citizens in East Fishkill. For the event, Brianna baked different desserts, provided games such as “Name That Tune,” and brought AHS students to join in the fun. As a sophomore, Brianna committed to continuing her project based on the requests of the senior citizens in attendance.

LILY HAVERKAMP, Class of 2024
Lily wanted to address the generational gap between high school seniors and senior citizens, creating the project “Seniors to Seniors.” Lily connected with different senior citizen organizations in our community and had high school seniors exchange letters with senior citizens asking for life advice as they headed into the next chapter of their lives. Lily worked tirelessly to connect the students with the seniors and provided a wonderful experience for all.

TAYLOR HUCHRO, Class of 2025
Taylor used her personal experiences at the Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital to design a project around bringing holiday cheer to patients that were in the hospital during the holiday season. With the help of Ms. Czajka and the AHS Concert Choir, Taylor donated holiday gifts that she collected and created a performance for the patients and staff at Maria Ferrari.

Hermione has been concerned about the issue of homelessness since she was a child and wanted to help. She hosted a hygiene donation drive at Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn and within her family and collected over 250 items. Hermione made “I Care Kits” out of some of the items with a supportive brochure and personally handed them to those in need locally. She then donated the rest of the items to Hudson River Housing.

CAMMY LE, Class of 2024
Cammy focused her project on educating younger students on the benefits of composting. Cammy worked with Mrs. Rosselli and the staff at Titusville Intermediate School to create an educational program during an all-school meeting designed to help implement a composting system for the school. Cammy organized the composting system for the cafeteria and connected students to serve as “delivery drivers” of the compost to a local farm.

As a student who was enrolled in the ENL program at Titusville Intermediate School, Mia wanted to give back to the program and serve as a role model to the current students. Mia worked with Ms. Belanger at Titusville to provide homework assistance and speak with the students about their shared

MIA NEWSON, Class of 2026
Aware of the equity issues that exist when it comes to finding a tutor, Mia set her sights on creating a “peer tutoring” system at our secondary schools. With the help of Dr. Solimene at Arlington High School and Mr. Richard at LaGrange Middle School, Mia created an entire peer tutoring system where students can receive tutoring from fellow students.

ANDREW ROBINSON, Class of 2026
As a student-athlete, Andrew was aware of the debris on the outer portions of the sports fields and wetlands at AHS. With the help of Mr. Diebold and our AHS safety team, Andrew, successfully assembled a team of students and organized an after-school cleanup.

SOFIA SIMONE, Class of 2024
Recognizing the impact grief can have on a person, Violet developed a project designed to help those suffering from loss. Violet created a card for students at Arlington High School that guidance counselors could distribute. The card has motivational messages, the number of a support hotline, and other helpful resources for those experiencing a sense of loss.

As a Cadet Captain in the Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff’s PBA Explorer Post 108, Kayleigh was concerned about the decrease in applicants for careers in law enforcement. Kayleigh worked with Deputy Alonzo Montanya and the Explorers to create a “Careers in Law Enforcement” in-school field trip for interested students that featured speakers from corrections, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department, volunteer firefighters, and dispatch.

KATRINA SWIFT, Class of 2025
Katrina centered her project around educating others on different unrecognized figures and histories of the queer community. Using her passion for makeup, Katrina created an Instagram account connected to the Dutchess Pride Center, each week posting a makeup tutorial while focusing on a part of transgender history. Through social media analytics, Katrina was able to measure the impact of her page, connecting and educating as many as 300 new viewers a week.

RYAN TURNER, Class of 2025
Focusing on the shortage of teachers and male role models for younger students, Ryan hosted a day when high school students could shadow and work with an elementary school teacher. With the help from Ms. Todd and the teachers at Arthur S. May Elementary School, Ryan created a field trip to ASM and lessons for students to implement under the guidance of an elementary school teacher.

JAKE VanDERMARK, Class of 2025
Pulling from his own personal experiences, Jake was concerned with elderly citizens experiencing loneliness, particularly those in retirement and assisted living homes. Jake organized a “fun night” with the residents and staff of the Vassar Warner Home in Poughkeepsie. The evening consisted of students playing games suggested by the seniors and engaging in rich conversations about their life experiences.

Tania has always had a soft spot in her heart for animals and protecting animals from cruelty. Centering her project around the needs of animals in rescues and shelters, Tania held a supply donation drive at her place of employment, Adams Fairacre Farms. Through the generosity of others, Tania was able to donate $515 and supplies to Hudson Valley Animal Rescue.

Individual Projects:
Julieana was concerned about homeless animals in our community, particularly those that returned pets to shelters because they did not realize the responsibilities of being a pet owner. After speaking with My Hopes In You Animal Shelter, Julieana created a children's book designed to educate small children on what it takes to care for a pet. Julieana presented and read the book to students at Smart Start Daycare and donated the book to their library.

JAHNVI MUNDRA, Class of 2024
Jahnvi’s 'Poetry for Mental Wellness' project focused on the teen mental health crisis, teaching teenagers how to use poetry as an alternative, technology-free outlet for mental well-being. Jahnvi provided online and in-person workshops on poetry writing to teens at schools and Girl Scout events in the US and India. Jahnvi also created a podcast that featured basic poetry exercises and interviews with mental health professionals who discussed poetry's mental health benefits. Jahnvi also compiled poems for a chapbook. Jahnvi addressed the United Nations as a Girl Activist Speaker on the International Day of the Girl. During her speech, Jahnvi asserted the need for mental health resources for girls worldwide and shared a spoken-word poem on girls' gender-based experiences.

Engineering, Design and Development Class:
EVAN BOICE, Class of 2024
ETHAN DAUKONTAS, Class of 2024
SYDNEY FOX, Class of 2024
CHANCE MOULTRIE, Class of 2024
Focusing their project on the discomfort experienced during commutes, the group made a product that can be used when driving to and from work. After surveying the community and meeting with a marketing team from IBM, the group designed ModuSeat, a carseat insert that alleviates back pain.

JASON HANSEN, Class of 2024
ANTONIO JORGE, Class of 2024
LOGAN MULVANEY, Class of 2024
RYAN TUROFF, Class of 2024
As a group of 3D printing enthusiasts, the problem of plastic waste from 3D printing was something that affected them greatly. With expert advice from Hatfield Metals, the group designed a product that would turn plastic waste from 3D printers into filament that could be used for additional 3D printing by groups such as the Arlington Engineering Club.

JAKE SHORT, Class of 2024
Albert and Jake focused their efforts on designing a more comfortable seat belt for those with neck issues or women that are pregnant. The students made a product in accordance with safety standards that can be added to a seat belt to provide more comfort and flexibility based on existing products and community surveys.

OWEN WOJCIAK, Class of 2024
Realizing cable mismanagement can lead to injuries and mental clutter, the group created a simple cable management system. They surveyed over 200 people about their cable management needs and worked with an electrical engineer from IBM to create a system using magnets and 3D printing.

BRIANA DOYLE, Class of 2024
JOSEPH PETRUZZI, Class of 2024
After conducting community research, the group realized that a major hazard for those with memory loss issues is remembering to turn off the stove when finished using it.
Through the use of python software and the help of Mr. Osterhoudt, the group was able to create a preventative product through coding that would notify users when the stove was left on.