All Hallows goes to White House to recieve an award

courtesy of Gilder Lehrman

All Hallows High School senior Robert Sandoval accepted an award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on behalf of his school and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Sandoval, 18, who has attended the Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies program of elective history courses at the All Hallows for six semesters, was chosen by the Institute to accept the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Award Youth Program Award along with the organization’s president James Basker from Mrs. Obama in a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, November 2.

The Saturday Academies are run at schools across the country, and Sandoval, who is expected to be second in his graduating class, said he has thoroughly enjoyed the courses, including the History of the United States through Music 1950-60, the Making of Slavery, and 20th Century Scientific Discoveries.

Sandoval stated, “I think that the programming has inspired me to work harder to make my future plans come to fruition.”

Sandoval has been attending the program since he was in the eighth grade, and it has developed quite a following in the Grand Concourse area with 300 students from grades 7 through 12 flocking to the All Hallows Saturday Academy every Saturday, said director of education for Gilder Lehrman, Anthony Napoli.

“The program was started in 2002 and has a broad sense of appeal, and has been under the direction of Mr. John Burke since being founded,” Napoli stated.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nations highest honor for after school arts and humanities programs, according to the program’s directors. The program has helped Sandoval achieve high scores on high school standardized history tests, including the Advanced Placement World and U.S. Regents Examinations, and the U.S. History S.A.T. II, Sandoval stated.

“Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies have helped me gain a better understanding and deeper insight on topics in American History and sharpened my understanding of the past and its effects on the present,” Sandoval stated.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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