About 1,300 high school students descended upon the Boston area last weekend for the Harvard Model Congress. Xavier had a large contingent with Ben Pitruzzello ’22 winning an award for the third time in four years at one of these huge events.
Pitruzzello won the Best Delegate Award for the Presidential Cabinet. His role was to play Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
“You’re following the point of view of the person you are playing; since I was Secretary of Defense my job was to protect the American national security interests, project American power globally, and generally follow what the American foreign policy has been for the past 20 years.
“You’re given 10 topics and told to focus on three or four. Since I was Secretary of Defense I focused on extremism in the military, democratic backsliding ... things related to national security interests.”
Xavier arrived at the Harvard event on Thursday; it concluded on Sunday.
“In our committees we dealt with the briefings that were given to us prior to the event, and we also dealt with crises that arose,” Pitruzzello said. “We had to deal with the media; I had to do a press conference at one point. We had to release statements to the press. We had to figure out novel ways to get around crises without starting international incidents.”
As a freshman and sophomore Pitruzzello also won awards each year for best legislation in his committee.
“Myself and the guys on the team said this is our last conference so let’s give it our all. And I think we did that,” Pitruzzello said. “Even though I was the only one to win an award I don’t think that reflects all the work and effort put in by the team.”
Pitruzzello is planning on majoring in history in college and would like to be a high school teacher. All of his experience in Model Congress certainly helps.
“Being able to engage with my peers in a moderated and engaging political discussion is a good thing,” Pitruzzello said. “We need to do a lot more of that. Encountering people from all across the U.S., kids from Southern California, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, others from Connecticut and the Boston area … meeting all those people and all their experiences, and talking to them about political issues gives you a greater sense of how people think and how the area in which they grew up reflects their views and values.”