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Dukes, Srivastava & Helkowski lead the way at NJ Model Congress' Party Day


(TRENTON, NJ) – Kingsway’s NJ MODEL CONGRESS Delegation traveled to the State Capitol on December 9th, 2022 to participate in NJMC’s PARTY DAY.

By day’s end, three KRHS Delegates earned coveted leadership positions. Participants

NEW JERSEY MODEL CONGRESS offers high school students the opportunity to simulate the experience of working in Congress. Its objective: To educate students on the workings of our government and to encourage their active involvement in the democratic process. 

Delegates from 16 New Jersey schools gathered in the State House Annex in Trenton. The goal of NJMC’s PARTY DAY is for delegates to form into three political parties (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents), write platforms outlining their party’s philosophy and positions, elect Party Leaders, and appoint Party Whips.

Dillon Dukes, a junior, was voted the Republican Party Leader. Mr. Dukes is tasked to organize his party to target legislation that supports the Republican Party Platform.

Juniors Navya Srivastriva and Colin Helkowski were appointed Whips of the Democratic and Independent Parties, respectively. Ms. Srivastriva and Mr. Helkowski must ensure their party’s members vote to pass and fail legislation in order to ensure the platform of their respective parties take effect.

First year and veteran delegates to NJMC shared their experiences of PARTY DAY:

“This experience had a huge impact on me, shaping my viewpoint on political issues from increasing minimum wage to the right to abortion,” said sophomore Jennifer Yeung. “I spoke about taxation on electronic devices, environmental issues, listened to a diverse student body's perspectives on political issues, and observed how to give a motivational speech as a party leader.”

Freshman Teddy Oberg: “This was my first year, and the people and atmosphere were so welcoming. I was a bit clueless when it came to some topics, and found a hard time finding my place to speak. However, everyone has a voice, so I hope to go in with more confidence for the future.”

Junior and Independent Party Whip Colin Helkowski: “While I was extremely nervous in the beginning, I was able to stand my ground and do what I do best: Meeting new people and forging new friendships. Everyone respected my thoughts and listened. I could not recommend it (NJMC) more.”

Delegate Amelia Bloomfield: “I really enjoyed the environment of working on ideas I am passionate about with like minded people. The feeling of having a space to make a difference as an adolescent is empowering and gives a sense of hope for the future.”

Delegate Julia Kocis: I thought it was incredibly helpful and it was very interesting to see things from the perspective of a party I don’t usually agree with.”

Delegate Miranda Sterner: “The best Party Day I have experienced; I feel like debate was productive, but we also learned from each other.”

 NJ Model Congress delegates now prepare for Leadership Day on February 24th, 2023 when delegates will compete for committee chair positions.

In addition, delegates continue to research and write bills of legislation on topics pertinent to their assigned committee. They will also prepare persuasive speeches for debate when the Congress convenes at Rider University on March 16th and 17th, 2023. 

Congratulations to Ms. Srivastava and to Messrs. Dukes and Helkowski for their emergence as student leaders and who are in the position to represent Kingsway with class, pride, and dignity.

NJMC advisor Andrew Young predicts that Kingsway’s delegates “will make themselves heard during this Congress. I look forward to their work.”

For further information on NJ Model Congress, NJ Dramatic & Forensic League, and the Public Speaking & Debate and DRAMA classes, students and parents are urged to email Mr. Andrew Young (


NJ Model Congress participants

The KRHS Delegation to NJ MODEL CONGRESS 2023.