Among the plethora of extracurricular activities at BBHS is the Mock Trial club. Mock Trial is a simulation of a real trial enacted by high school students looking to compete with high school students across the region and bring home a win. The trial alternates annually between a civil and criminal case, and teams prepare both sides of the case. Mock Trial offers a series of positive opportunities since it involves traveling to the courthouse, affords interactive experiences with other high schools, and provides multiple occasions to enhance public speaking skills. Blind Brook’s Mock Trial team has proven to be successful in this year’s competition led by co-captains Melina Kohilakis and Jackson Weinstein, as it won the Westchester County competition and proceeded to the Regional Finals in Rockland County.
A club of this caliber requires great dedication and passion towards the trial and as co-captain Jackson Weinstein states, “as Captain, it can be difficult to motivate our members to give up sometimes dozens of hours a week to Mock Trial. But, everyone on the team wants to be there, each with a fierce interest, whether professional or academic, in the law.” The team built all of this ardor within the community they created through their long practices together. There is a clear dedication apparent in each member that is represented through their five-hour practices. The club shares a cultivated interest in the law, motivating them to develop lawyerly skills and relentlessly pursue success against their rivals.
The club has had a lasting impact on prior and current members, some of whom have been involved since their freshman year of high school. Eager-to-learn freshmen feel a connection with the team, emphasizing the positive impression the club has made. Ms.Gianfrancesco, the club’s advisor, has spoken of the enduring emotional connection she shares with the team members, claiming she has spent more time with them than her own children. Weinstein shares that the club’s “wide variety of absurd team traditions, combined with the intense feeling of shared pride after a County Championship win, has made Mock Trial more of a second family to me than anything else.” The ability for a club to feel like a family and work cohesively has helped in leading them to a substantial victory, and enabled team members to feel that they belong to a special, tight-knit community.
While the club’s bonding experience through long practices has strengthened its unity, the rigorous hours-long practices are what distinguish the Blind Brook team. This vigorous rehearsal of the trial helped fully prepare the team and secure their arguments in the competition. The club put in their best efforts resulting in commendable outcomes. The team’s overall success can be summed into two aspects: cohesive work, and dedication. These successful tactics will no doubt sustain the Blind Brook Mock Trial team in the years to come.