Montclair, NJ- On June 20, Montclair High School Senior, Samantha Siegel was awarded the Nancy and Robert Eskow National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Essex Volunteer Award. Each year, select high school seniors from Essex County are chosen to receive this honor. Recognition is given to those high school seniors who have made local or global contributions.
Siegel was determined one of those students when she sought to make a difference in gender equality. In 2012, Siegel created an online petition to select a female moderator at the 2012 Obama/Romney Presidential debate. Siegel realized that if successful, this would have been the first female moderator since 1992.
As a result of her efforts to use social networking sites to promote her petition, Siegel gathered 180,000 signatures worldwide. Consequently, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) selected Candy Crowley to moderate a presidential debate and Martha Raddatz to moderate a Vice Presidential debate. The CPD, established in 1987, is a 501(c)(3) corporation that has sponsored all of the Presidential debates since 1988. They provide research and educational activities pertaining to debates, as well as, decide how to bring optimal information to viewers and listeners.
After her victory with the CPD, Siegel then went on to organize a Girl’s Leadership and Civic Education conference. Lisa Blumert, Director of Communications for the NCJW said, “She imparted her knowledge and experience on younger students.”
Along with an award of recognition from the NCJW, Siegel also received a $600 scholarship. Siegel will attend Duke University in the fall. For more information about NCJW, log on to www.ncjwessex.org.