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Baldwin High School Wins Top Prizes in Northwell Health’s Annual SPARK! Challenges

Students Place First in Two Categories

Once again, Baldwin High School students from the Global Business Academy, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Medical & Health Sciences Academy placed first in the annual Northwell Health Spark! Challenge Awards Ceremony. Baldwin competed against at least fifty schools and more than 1,500 students. The yearly competition, which was held virtually this year due to health and safety concerns associated with COVID-19, offers high school students a first-hand glimpse of careers in the healthcare field. In light of the pandemic, the theme for this challenge focused on “Healthcare Heroes” as a tribute to those who have either served directly on the frontlines or assisted those serving over the past twelve months. The competing teams had to create a themed poster and a 90-second career promotional video working with their school advisors to meet all competition guidelines. 

A total of four teams from Baldwin High School participated, two of which took home first place. 


Poster Award - Non-Clinical Careers
Career Highlighted: Data Analyst
Team: Chloe Cruz, Mateo Marquez, Alexys Mason, Daniella McCoy
Award Received: $1,000 

Video Award - Overall
Career Highlighted: Clinical Researcher
Team: Kimora Bedeau, Kourtney Bobb, Destiny Cox, Monique Williams
Award Received: $3,000 


Congratulations to all of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators whose combined efforts continue to make this program and collaboration a success!” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, superintendent of schools, Baldwin Union Free School District. 

For Baldwin High School, Ms. Pat Banhazl, school to career coordinator, and Carissa Johnston, chemistry teacher, advised the Medical teams, while Ms. Michele Leonardo, business teacher, and Samantha Billig, family and consumer sciences teacher, oversaw the Business teams. Prizes were awarded to the most creative presentations and impactful advertisements, as determined by a team of judges during the full-day ceremony, which also encompassed interactive and collaborative opportunities in the program schedule. 

Since 2014, Northwell has opened up its clinical and non-clinical facilities to students each fall, allowing them to observe employees from such diverse fields as business development, risk management, laboratory research, legal affairs, physical therapy and emergency medicine. Then in the spring, the students present what they have learned to Northwell’s senior leadership based on the theme assigned by Northwell. Created and facilitated by Northwell's workforce readiness team, the Spark! Challenge got off to a modest start with 300 students in its first year. To date, the event has introduced more than 7,000 students in the New York City and Long Island area to the array of careers available in healthcare. 

This is Baldwin's seventh year participating in the program. The high school has had a successful history of receiving recognition through multiple prizes in these Spark! Challenges. The awards received are reinvested into the district’s Academic Academies program. The Northwell Health Spark! Challenge continues to serve as an invaluable experience, connecting the Academic Academies with the real world to develop future leaders in healthcare.