Two years ago, our lives completely changed due to COVID-19. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy invited the Nikhil Badlani Foundation to come speak to our driver education students about safe driving behaviors. Students created a beautiful art mural consisting of three panels during their Physical Education class, but unfortunately the COVID pandemic hit just as the mural was to be unveiled. Michael Loenser, Health and Physical Education Department Chair and Teacher explained this endeavor, “My goal was for students to engage the school and Elizabeth community through a more active approach regarding safe driving habits.” Sangeeta Badlani, Founder and President of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation, spoke to the entire sophomore class in an assembly about her personal story regarding distracted driving and Nikhil’s Law. The core underlying principles of Nikhil’s Law are to Stop Completely, Stay Alert, Talk Safe and Plan Ahead as part of the STOP For Nikhil Pledge located in the New Jersey MVC manual.
Students learned more about Nikhil’s Law through the completion of a colorful 8’x 5’ mural illustrating the four components of Nikhil’s Pledge. This mural is displayed at the school and potentially at a local NJ Transit train terminal. A ceremony was held on the morning of June 9th for the official unveiling of the student-created community mural with special guest Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.
On behalf of the Hamilton school community, Mr. Loenser wishes to thank the Nikhil Badlani Foundation, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, and all members of our school administration for supporting our students.