Spotlight on Success
The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers tens of thousands of inspiring students, alumni, and educators each year and we want to share their amazing stories with YOU! Please read through our current Spotlights (below) and browse our past Spotlights (click “more” above) for additional examples of the great work happening in classrooms, homes, and communities across the country!
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Honors: National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Girl Scouts, Teen Advisory Board, Varsity Letter in Crew, Bronze and Silver Award in Girl Scouts, played piano at the White House for three years
As the coxswain on her school’s crew team Maiah Khin steers the boat and guides her teammates. In a few years, though, don’t be surprised to see her steering international relations! Maiah’s heritage drives her passion for government and policy. Her family came to American from Burma, and their experiences in that country have depended her appreciation for the freedoms of America. She’s fluent in Burmese, works as a tutor, is teaching herself Arabic, and has co-found a public service and stress relief club at her school.
Maiah’s desire to engage with civics lead her to the Bill of Rights Institute. She often visits the Institute’s website to read resources and access educational videos. In 2016, she was accepted to the Institute’s Constitutional Academy. This experience helped Maiah deepen her understanding of the inner workings of the United States government. She notes that the resources the Academy provided have helped her in classes she is currently taking. Her favorite part of Constitutional Academy was attending a naturalization ceremony. She describes it as an opportunity for her to, “learn more deeply what her family went through.” She also enjoyed hearing from veterans at Arlington National Ceremony, as her father served in the military. She credits participating in the Academy as the experience that cemented her desire to study history and international relations.
When asked which aspect of the Constitution she thinks most significant, Maiah highlighted the First Amendment. For her, freedom of speech is important because, “many other forms of government don’t provide the right to say what you want.” She feels America is special in that regard.
Maiah will graduate in 2017, and is excited to attend college and pursue a career in international relations, perhaps one day working for the CIA.
November 2016 – Michael Rohlin
VFW Citizenship Teacher Award for Western New York
While new to The Institute’s programs, Michael Rohlin has already proven himself to be a dedicated educator. The first clue was when he drove several hours from Mayville, New York to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to participate in BRI’s “Congress: The First Branch and the Constitution” .
While attending this seminar, it was clear to everyone that Michael was eager to contribute during the discussion groups. His enthusiasm was inspiring and infectious.
When asked about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the first word that came to Michael’s mind was “passion.” He believes that this passion for the founding documents of our nation drives him to engage his students with lessons and activities centered around these key documents. To facilitate student learning, Michael told us that he consistently uses BRI’s resources to help his students better understand our nation’s founding.
Michael discusses the importance of the Constitution with his students and helps them learn about the founding documents through a focus on the inner-workings of the government. His goal is to ensure that everyone leaves his classroom with a basic understanding of the roles of each branch of our government and how they currently operate in our modern world.
This award-winning teacher considers his most satisfying accomplishments when students remark that his class has helped them to better understand our government; and also the times thatMichael is contacted by a former student seeking to gain more knowledge.
Beyond the classroom, Michael speaks with the parents of his students about encouraging their children to become involved in community and civic activities. Many of his current and former students are now engaged as young citizens working to change the world in their own community.
Our staff is grateful for Mr. Rohlin’s participation as a newcomer to The Institute’s programs. We certainly look forward to seeing him again at future seminars and Institute sponsored colloquia!