South Orangetown Central School District

Congratulations to Tappan Zee High School junior Mia Pakola, who placed third in the Virtual Lower Hudson Valley Regional History Day Contest for her documentary, “Breaking Barriers in History: Susan B. Anthony”!

“Mia’s film was well-researched, highly informative and indicative of meticulous planning,” reports TZHS Social Studies Teacher and History Honor Society Advisor Matthew Robertson.

“My documentary deals with the life and accomplishments of Susan B. Anthony,” explains Pakola, a member of the History Honor Society. “When I found out that this year’s theme was “Breaking Barriers in History,” I knew I wanted to focus my project on the women’s rights movement. I picked Susan B. Anthony because she was a huge part of the movement and dedicated her entire life to reform. Whether she was fighting for women’s rights or against slavery, she continued to fight for what she wanted despite the backlash by those who were resistant to change. Although we have made incredible progress because of Susan B. Anthony, it is vital that the fight for gender equality doesn’t end with her.”

Pakola created the documentary to present in person at the annual contest. When the live competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she found an online alternative.

Studying history has provided Pakola with insight into current events and the confidence to make her voice heard. “My social studies classes have furthered my understanding of political issues and I feel more comfortable with voicing my political opinions because of them,” she says.

View Pakola’s documentary on YouTube.

Head shot of Mia Pakola