A team of high school students from Mater Dei Prep in Middletown along with teams from Biotechnology High School in Freehold and Cherokee High School in Marlton will represent New Jersey for the very first time at the 2021 Academic WorldQuest national competition, which will be held virtually this year on April 17.

The teams qualified to go to the national competition after the World Affairs Council of New Jersey held the very first NJ state-level competition of the national Academic WorldQuest program, which strives to prepare the next generation of leaders, scholars, and decision-makers to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Teams of students passionate about international affairs met virtually and competed by answering rounds of questions testing their knowledge of current events, world leaders, geography, recent history, flags, international organizations, countries, the world economy, culture, religion, and more.

Founded in 2019, the World Affairs Council of New Jersey (WACNJ) is the newest member of the wider World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), a nationwide network of nonprofit organizations that seek to educate and engage local citizens on global issues and U.S. foreign policy. Up until our founding, New Jersey was the most populous state in the country not to have a council of its own, and we now aim to fill that void by holding regular events with world-class experts, making connections between events taking place abroad and NJ communities, serving as a forum for community education, and fostering exchanges with international visitors to our state. It is not our goal to achieve political or intellectual consensus on a set of prescribed policy issues, but rather to foster an engaged and informed citizenry — the most fundamental step to ensuring a positive future for our democracy in a globalizing world.