SGA offers leadership opportunities for students

September 22, 2017

By John Dingzon

SGA stands for Student Government Association and is designed as the voice of students for activities and positive change in their school.

The SGA has organized entertainment, events, and dances, and conducted fundraisers for school improvement projects.

For example, they were the ones who helped plan the Junior/Senior prom and organized a fundraiser.

The SGA also models itself after the U.S. system of government, by having a democratic election in order to elect officers who vote on proposals that affect the student body.

Patterson High School first formed it’s Student Government Association many years ago, but eventually, the SGA ceased to function.

It is Mr. Benton’s 7th school year being at the Patterson High School. He came here from Cleveland in the year 2011.

Several years ago, Mr. Benton made a call to bring back the SGA as a positive force for students at Patterson High School.

Mr. Benton said what made him bring back SGA is to give the students a body and to know what is going on in the school.

Mr. Benton said “I’m not well familiar when SGA student government association first started here at Patterson because the SGA hasn’t been existed for over 8 years.”

Mr. Benton added, “What took so long for SGA to be active is there were no advisors to actually run the program, because I could want anything but until others are able to give the time and effort necessary, then it can’t happen.

Last year’s President, Mikal Mccoy, and acting Vice President John Dingzon (me) were involved in numerous events, including helping students have a voice over the city issued S-passes.

The SGA also participated in meetings about the school budget and worked towards revitalizing the Patterson Garden.

Members of the Patterson SGA also met with City Schools Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Santelises, as well as Police Chief Commissioner Davis, the Baltimore City Committee’s and 1st District Councilman, Zeke Cohen.

The SGA is an opportunity for students to step up and become leaders in their schools.

Often, students who participate in high schools will do so in college and make valuable friendship and professional connections.

Being an officer in the SGA is great for a student’s resume and college application, and may help win valuable scholarships.

The SGA can also be a lot of fun and can be used to solve problems at your school.

Nowadays many high schools and elementary/middle schools have SGA but it has showed a big improvement when it became an after-school program like it was in other school districts.

This year’s SGA advisors will be Mr. Scholz and Ms. Taylor and Mr. Sokolski.

Mr. Latanishen has been SGA advisor for the past two years and is stepping down since he and his wife had a new baby.

Mr. Scholz said, “I volunteered to be SGA advisor because I did SGA in college and to help out.”

As acting President of the Student Government Association, I am hoping to promote the SGA before my acting President term ends this year while I only have a few short months to stay as acting President of SGA I have only had the chance to introduce and present SGA to other students who would like to get more involved but I am also hoping to run and make changes to Patterson High School.

If I run again and win the election I promise to have both the school and students to have benefit each other and to give the students more voice out there in the Baltimore City and Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS).

Student Government Association is a student body. What that means is that the students are in control and have a power to change their school and do something. If students are well concerned about the school or something then they can come and join SGA and to do more great things and to change alot more things about Patterson or their own school. Leaders are made today, not tomorrow.

Previous SGA Vice President, Amadou Bah, shared some advice for current Patterson students: “Be kind. Be Genuinely kind. Be the voice of the students. If you want to be in a mock government that doesn’t actually do anything, join SGA.

My first year of being the VP, I was nice to everyone. I said “hi” to literally everyone! From the students to the janitors to the instructors to the administrators, everyone talks. So be the gold star in the mix. By the end of my first year, I was given awards I didn’t even apply for (yes, student of the year).

I’ve been Vice President for 2 years at Patterson High School and people still talk to me in a friendly manner. When I ran for Vice President, I got more votes than the student President and far beyond every other candidate. True story. Well it’s because I was the only one that was running. I had an advantage. Don’t worry so much and just be yourself. Students smell “real”. Be the voice of the students.

For more information or to get involved in SGA, see Mr. Scholz, Ms. Taylor, or Mr. Sokolski.