The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Matthew Pascarelli:
2006 Winner
Long Island City High School

Matthew Pascarelli

Winning Essay

The President of the United States is known as the “most powerful person in the world” This may sound like hyperbole, but in many ways it is true. The United States is now the world’s only superpower. The prestige, power and cultural influence of the United States today may only be rivaled by the Roman Empire of Antiquity. As leader of this great nation the president of the United States should be a person of great character. Some qualities that a president should possess are; communication skills, honesty and experience in world affairs.

The president should be a great leader of people and a great leader has top-notch communication skills. In today’s modern media age no national leader could be an effective leader without the ability to speak persuasively and profoundly. A big part of the president’s job is to convince the American people of what policies he thinks are best for the nation. It is also of great importance that the president be able to effectively represent America and communicate her wishes to the rest of the world. This would not be possible if the president could not communicate properly.

Honesty is an important characteristic that the U.S. President should maintain as well. No matter what the situation calls for the President should always be frank with the general public. This does not mean that all classified information should be open to the public, but our President should never lie about any situation. If the President lied, the credibility of the office and our nation would be looked upon as a façade and the honor of the United States would be impugned. For a nation like the United States, which many around the globe consider the leader of the free world, a loss of honor would be a grievous blow. In many ways the United States represents the best of our civilization, one of the consequences of this is that how the United States is perceived by the world has a huge impact on global affairs. If the United States is believed to be dishonorable thaw whole world will suffer for it.

Political or military experience is another thing that our President should have. In order to win over the people’s confidence and make good decisions the President needs to be able to draw on a personal history of vast experience. It is said that wisdom comes through experience, and the wiser president will be a better president.

In our rich and valiant history we have had many great Presidents, one being Abraham Lincoln. Despite being a terrific orator and master of words he brought a sense of direction to our nation through a tragic era. Abraham Lincoln was the President of the United States through out the Civil War. To be able to maintain a country and its people while they were all fighting each other speaks volumes about how successful a President Abraham Lincoln actually was. He used the war not only to protect our nation, but also to slowly abolish slavery. The creation of the Emancipation Proclamation played a substantial role in that. Not only did Abraham Lincoln hold our country together through out a time of self-hostility, but he also made our country a better place to live

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was another exceptional U.S. President. He helped our nation get through two unfortunate events, the Great Depression and World War II. FDR’s amazing economic vision helped the U.S. recover from the worst financial depression in our country’s history. In 1933 the American economy was crippled. One fourth of the work force was out of work, industrial production dropped fifty percent from 1929, our banking systems were depleted, and about two million Americans were homeless. FDR had an innovative plan that would help improve labor unions, worker employment, and strengthen our economy. The New Deal eventually assisted in getting America out of the deep valley of economic depression and made a horrific problem a little easy to cope with. FDR also played an imperative role in WWII. His leadership and diplomacy supported the United States as a whole and an American individual. By not copping out during hard times FDR proved to be a tremendous president.

Our nation was built on three unalienable rights, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. President Andrew Jackson stood for all of these things by being the President of the United States. By being complicit in genocide like acts against the Indians, Jackson took those God given rights away from the Indians. Our country’s foundation is made up of these rights and any President that does not support them does not represent our country’s values. Even though like the rest of us Jackson was a product of the social and political realities of his time, his actions cannot be excused. The American treatment of Native Americans overall was not true to our national ideals. President Harry Truman famously said that…”The buck stops here”… This was certainly true in Jackson’s time so he must bear responsibility for the heinous treatment of Native American’s during his presidency. Indeed these actions remain a stain on our national legacy.

Just like our cherished national ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the foundation of our country. Honesty, experience and being a charismatic communicator are the qualities that should be the foundation of any great modern leader. The President of the United States and the leader of the free world should have all three of these qualities in spades. If our president does, he may be able to live up to the legacy of such great presidents as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


We would like to wish Matthew Pascarelli the best of luck moving on to St. John’s University. Congratulations!

My name is Matthew Theodore Pascarelli. My parent’s names are Evelyn and Gerald Pascarelli, I have one brother named Michael Pascarelli, and one sister named Michelle Pascarelli. My well-rounded family helped establish a strong foundation for my life. Ever since I could remember I have always had respect for academics. I understood that to succeed in life I needed to listen and learn from everyone, no matter whom. I attend Long Island City High School and plan on attending St. John’s University in the fall of 2006. Education has played an important role in my development as a person, but many other things have factored into my life, thus far.

I work in an after school program at P.S. 122. Working in an elementary school helps me keep in contact and pass on what I learn with the children of my community. When I am not working I enjoy playing a lot of baseball. I played four years on the varsity team for Long Island City High School and help out coaching at the ICYP youth program.

While attending college I plan on studying finance. I have always liked working with numbers and as I have grown up I began to become interested in money and how it works. Receiving this scholarship is an honor. I hope I can take full advantage of this opportunity and I want to thank everyone that is involved in making this special night, a night for remembrance.

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