County Prep students win statewide competition

Three contestants nailed it with 'Acts of Kindness'

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Aleena Choudhry of Bayonne
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Fajrhafza Sohail of Jersey City
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Varsha Santhosh Kumar of Jersey City
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Aleena Choudhry of Bayonne
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Fajrhafza Sohail of Jersey City
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Varsha Santhosh Kumar of Jersey City

Three County Prep High School students have been awarded a first place prize at the statewide SkillsUSA competition for bringing their school community together during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aleena Choudhry, of Bayonne, Fajrhafza Sohail, of Jersey City, and Varsha Santhosh Kumar, of Jersey City, presented their project, “Acts of Kindness,” in the competition’s community service division.

Over three weeks, the girls asked their fellow students to do one small act of kindness, from writing a short letter of gratitude to their teachers during distance learning to donating canned goods to a local food bank. Over 1,000 acts of kindness were recorded.

Creatively coming together 

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Hudson County Schools of Technology has encouraged our district community to find creative and innovative ways to come together in a safe and meaningful way,” said Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez. “Aleena, Fajrhafza, and Varsha have done an incredible job showing that one small act of kindness can make a big difference, especially during these challenging times. We are incredibly proud of their hard work and wish them continued success this spring. Their project is a true testament that we are all #HCSTstrong.”

Choudhry, Sohail, and Kumar’s project included a 30-slide explanation detailing their work and social media reels that were presented to judges. They are now preparing to attend the SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference in June, where their project will be presented on a national level. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit national education association that serves middle school, high school, and college or post secondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

“Aleena, Fajrhafza, and Varsha chose to bring County Prep/ATD together in a way that not only helped boost morale during the pandemic, but left a lasting impression on our entire community,” said Michael Grele, SkillsUSA advisor for County Prep High School. “Their ambition and dedication to help others is admirable and gave each of us the opportunity to be part of something bigger. We’re looking forward to watching them compete on the national stage in June.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.