BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA — Growing up in suburbia can shelter kids from the realities of real-world issues. Or so Niskayuna High junior Evan Pritchard has found.
But it doesn’t make him bitter about his hometown. It makes him curious about the world outside of Niskayuna.
This curiosity was further piqued during a conference given by the League of Women Voters that Pritchard attended.
At the Hilton in Albany, from May 22 to 25, Pritchard and 60 other students from all over New York state sat in on presentations about government operations and issues that state and local governments face.
“I’ve always been interested in history and in politics,” he said, referencing his favorite quote: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
During the presentations, Pritchard and other students were taught about the importance of having “good” lobbyists, on various functions of government and on the importance of voting.
But one presentation that struck him was about the New York state Constitution.
“There was a professor from SUNY Buffalo giving the presentation and he was talking about how even lawmakers don’t really know or use the state constitution … at the end he asked us how we would get people to pay attention to it and realize how important it is,” Pritchard said.
Since Pritchard’s primary skill set and interests reside in the field of film-making, he immediately began to think of a documentary that would help to breakdown and promote the state constitution.
“So far, I’ve really only worked on narrative-style films. But I love Michael Moore’s films and I want to start working on things like that,” Pritchard said.
In a political sense, he tends to align with his parents, Michael and Joan, and even with his siblings, Jillian and Daniel.
But even when they don’t agree on everything, they are usually able to find some common ground and freely discuss their ideas, which Pritchard says is really unique.
“I think it’s really almost a lost art now,” Pritchard said. Because of this, he finds himself drawing much of his inspiration and support from his family.
During the conference, Pritchard found that many of fellow attendees were able to discuss political topics in a civil manner and he found that talking with students from New York City and Long Island gave him a new viewpoint for many of the issues he is passionate about.
“I’d also like to work on a project surrounding the LGBT club at the High School, it’s called Visibility Club,” Pritchard said.
While attending some of the meetings, he found that many LGBT students feel left out by the education system.
“Especially with health class and sex education. They kind of have to teach themselves about sex education,” Pritchard said.
With a summer internship lined up at a production company in Troy called Two Buttons Deep, Pritchard hopes to work on his filming skills and to develop some of these project ideas.
“I’m not sure what they’ll have me do yet, but they work on satire sketches and on informative news stories,” Pritchard said, likening the company to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
BY INDIANA NASH
Each week, Your Niskayuna celebrates an outstanding student by publishing a profile of his or her accomplishments. Students can be between kindergarten and twelfth grade, either enrolled in Niskayuna schools or living in Niskayuna (it’s okay if the student you…Keep reading