Chazy Central Rural School tenth-grader Andrea Meshefsky is competing for a Pepsi Refresh grant to help her school as the economy struggles.
Chazy Central Rural School has long ensured its students attend the Harvard Model United Nations.
Every year, students from around the world attend the event, which is one of the oldest Model United Nations simulations in the world.
But times are tough, and Chazy Sophomore Andrea Meshefsky is trying to secure enough funding to send Chazy students to the event for four more years. This would free up the school to use the funds it currently earmarks for the event elsewhere.
“I volunteered to write a grant with Pepsi,” Meshefsky said.
She is currently in the running for a $25,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project.
Pepsi has been giving millions away as part of an advertising campaign. Groups that participate must focus on health, arts, the environment and education.
Grant ideas for the Pepsi Refresh Project are submitted to the website, and users can vote daily online or through a text message.
Organizations that win the grants use the funds according to their applications to participate in the Pepsi Refresh Project.
Meshefsky has wanted to attend Harvard since sixth grade and first heard about the Model UN in seventh grade through Global History Teacher Steve Cross. He urged her to join.
“I fell in love with it,” she said. “I love to debate and solve world issues.”
“This is a sport in this school,” Cross said.
He takes 70 students to the North Country Model UN at Northeastern Clinton Central School and 16 to Harvard.
“They work all year for that one week at the end of January,” he said.
He said not only will Meshefsky debate against some of the brightest students in the world, but right now she's learning that success takes hard work.
“If people don't vote for this every day, it is not going to happen,” Cross said.
Recently, her group jumped from 248 to 45 in the rankings.
“This is my first year going to Harvard Model UN,” Meshefsky said. “It really challenges you academically and teaches you leadership skills.
“This is important for students to have access to.”
She knows the economy is struggling. She also knows her school supports the program, but the thought of not having access to it and the desire to free up funds pushed her to join the Pepsi challenge.
She explained that anyone who wants to vote can go to www.chazy.org or Facebook: Chazy Harvard UN Grant.
People can also vote by texting 110388 to 73774.
“It is so easy to vote,” Meshefsky said.
Again, she stressed that she could go to Harvard without winning the grant.
“But this would allow us to go for four more years and it would help relieve the burden on the school.”