The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Aaron Scholder:
2008 Winner
CCC Queensview North

Aaron Scholder

Winning Essay

Throughout the storied history of the United States of America, every President who has sat in office has had to deal with various types of issues affecting the country. This is clearly found in the present race for the Presidency, as whoever is elected will be forced to deal with issues the Founding Fathers dared not dream of. Some of these issues can be fixed within a four-year term, others need time, but all of them are important and need careful attention. The three issues that the next President must address immediately are the conflict in Iraq, the failing economy, and what to do about the growing threat of global warming.

I believe these three topics are the most pertinent in relation to America, which is why I chose them. All of these issues have greatly affected the country and will continue to do so until a President takes action. These three topics are questions in our society that the next President must be able to answer. The war in Iraq has stirred the pot that is American fury like no other issue has since the Vietnam War, causing great debate not only among citizens but also politicians as well. The current state of the American economy has people scrambling to plan for a recession, an event that will hurt all parts of the country fiscally and mentally. The effects of global warming have had large effects on many communities not only in America, but around the world as well. America, widely regarded as a leader in many respects, has not taken the initiative to combat the threat, with much of the blame being placed on the current administration.

It can clearly be seen that whoever our next President is will inherit considerably tough tasks to tackle. If the incoming administration does not take these issues head on, the effects will be felt worldwide. The Iraq conflict has affected two nations, one steeped in ancient religious traditions, the other steeped in modern controversy, which is why the next President will have to find a solution that will not only appease Americans, but Iraqis as well, a task that is easier said than done. If this cannot be accomplished, the lives of two different groups of people will be greatly affected, as many more lives will be lost for what seems to be a never-ending struggle. If the next President does not react to the situation of the current economy, it will be quite possibly that person’s most egregious mistake as many facets of the country will be affected. With the current state of the economy, many industries are affected including that of real estate and automobiles, two major aspects of American commerce that have been struggling to stay above water, with many job cuts as a result. Also, the failing economy, unabated, will continue to hurt the stock market, with even more people being affected there not only in America but around the world as well, with many countries depending on the success our economy to succeed themselves. The topic of global warming has sparked debate in the political realm of how truthful and serious the issue really is. However, one thing that its detractors simply cannot deny about it is that even if climate change is really not as serious as indicated, we still would be doing the right thing for the environment and the planet as a whole if we took action. Therefore, if the next President were to not act on this issue, he would be making a serious mistake politically and environmentally as he or she will have missed a chance to do a great deed for this planet.

I believe that in the future our next President should address the situation in Iraq with swift action by announcing a date for withdrawal for our troops. This will alleviate the concerns of Americans, who wonder if this conflict will ever end, while also forcing the hand of the new Iraqi government to get ready for life without a strong American presence. I also think our next President should act on the failing economy by providing Americans new job opportunities in the environmental and technology fields, while also fighting to stop the process of outsourcing that has cost thousands of Americans their jobs. Lastly, our next President should lead the way in combating global warming by continuing to find alternate sources of energy and by passing reform that raises auto emission standards.

These issues are important to me for a number of reasons that relate to me being an American. I believe that we should never use our military unless it is absolutely necessary, which is why it disheartens me to see so many lives being lost in a conflict many think was not needed. I believe that is our government’s job to keep us from having a failing economy and to get us out of it if we are in one. These economic issues that plague our country will affect me considerably as a high school senior on the verge of being an independent, under-funded college student. Finally, the issue of global warming is not only important to me, but also to the billions of other people that inhabit this planet. If we do not act, we will all pay, not as Americans, but as humans.


We would like to wish Aaron Scholder the best of luck moving on to SUNY Albany. Congratulations!

My name is Aaron Scholder, I am 17 years old and a senior at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, New York. I have lived in the Queensview co-op in Long Island City for my entire life and my family has been neighbors with and has known the Santora family for several years.

My family consists of my parents, Arnie and Diane, along with my three brothers Joshua, Jeremy, and Seth, all of whom are either attending or have graduated from college. They have constantly provided me with support that has guided me through my education and my life, and I am forever thankful for their encouragement.

Some of my greatest interests include playing and watching sports, which is evidenced in my love of my three favorite professional teams; the New York Rangers, Mets, and Giants. I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend many of my favorite teams’ games, and continue to follow them constantly.

Another of my interests is writing and journalism. I have developed a great love for all things involving journalism. I currently serve as Sports Editor for my school’s newspaper, The Verdict, and have written for the newspaper for two years. I am an avid reader of newspapers and I am always interested in what is going on in the world locally, nationally, and globally. One of my main interests related to news in general is the upcoming presidential election in November. This election is shaping up to be one of, if not the most, important elections in the history of America.

Next fall, I will begin my college studies at the State University of New York- University at Albany, where I am eager to broaden my interests both socially and academically. In the future I hope to have some sort of career in the field of media, whether it be the print, broadcast, or online medium.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Christopher Santora Scholarship Fund is affording me. I will make sure that that opportunity is invested wisely.

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