UNION COUNTY, NJ – A Union High School student was among the members of the “Red” team, who participated in Union County’s annual UC-STEP youth leadership conference in December.  The “Red” team created the winning slogan for a countywide 2020 Census campaign spearheaded by high school students:  “It Makes Sense to…Come to Your CENSUS 2020.”

Rhode Gardese from Union High School participated along with 17 others from 18 different area high schools. 

“On behalf of the Freeholder Board, I congratulate the Red team for their winning idea,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “With the help of enthusiastic students throughout Union County, we hope to encourage everyone to participate and be counted in the 2020 Census.”

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“The 2020 Census is critical to our ability to obtain federal grants in support of transportation, education and other vital needs,” added Mirabella.

The “It Makes Sense to…Come to Your CENSUS 2020” encourages high school students throughout Union County to help raise awareness about the 2020 Census by taking specific action steps, such as inviting a Census representative to speak at a school assembly.

Students will also compete to sell the greatest number of 2020 Census-themed pens and bracelets. For every five Census awareness bracelets or pens sold, students will be entered into a raffle to win a pair of tickets to a rare big-screen showing of the classic film The Wizard of Oz, at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.

Representatives from the Red team were presented with a congratulatory Freeholder Resolution on Thursday.

The members are: Maria Gomez - Admiral William F. Halsey Leadership Academy; Jensi Javier - Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy; Kristen Jeudi - Benedictine Academy; Mackenna Heesters - Cranford High School; Julianna Rei - David Brearley High School; Alyssa Pradhan - Governor Livingston High School; Nicholeecha Simone-McLeon - Hillside High School; Laron Murray - J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy; Gabriela Garcia - John E. Dwyer Technology Academy; Abby Wilson - Jonathan Dayton High School; Zaria Berrios - Rahway High School; Maleya Christian - Summit High School; Rosemary Hernandez - Thomas A. Edison & Technical Education High School; Edwin Rojas - Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy; Millicent King - U.C. TEAMS; William Chinchilla - U.C.V.T.S.; Jonathan Choi - Union Catholic Regional High School and Rhode Gardese - Union High School.

The “It Makes Sense to…Come to Your CENSUS 2020” campaign will kick off on March 4 and conclude on April 11.