Davidson Academy students perform well in National Academic WorldQuest competition

With training and mentorship from the University's Honors Program, the profoundly gifted students test their knowledge of global and foreign policy

Alexander Alvarado, Davidson Academy Student and WorldQuest team member.


5/16/2016 | By: Lindsay Honaker |

The Davidson Academy of Nevada, whose team made up of four students scored 74 points in the National Academic WorldQuest competition in Washington, D.C., earned the No. 21 spot overall out of 49 teams at the conference last month. The team placed first in the regional competition, which is sponsored by University Honors Program and the Northern Nevada International Center, earlier in the semester, qualifying them for the national competition. The Davidson Academy of Nevada is a free public school established in 2006 for profoundly gifted middle and high school students and is located at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"One of the greatest challenges facing our nation and our schools across the country is preparing our
youth for the complex, interconnected world of the 21st century," Carlos Alvarez, chairman and CEO of The Gambrinus Company, said.

The World Affairs Councils of America is the largest non-profit grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to educating and engaging Americans on global issues with nearly 100 councils across 40 states reaching more than half a million people a year. The National Academic WorldQuest, which is a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America, who hosts the event, engages more than 4,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy.

Alexander Alvarado is a 14-year-old WorldQuest team member and Davidson Academy student. Alvarado's hobbies include reading, fencing, occasionally writing poetry and watching the news. His love of the news and staying up-to-date with global issues aligned with the qualifications for the competition.

"The purpose of the competition is to expand the knowledge of students on many different topics on world affairs," Alvarado said. "Subjects ranged from the U.S. policy in Africa to Brazil's metamorphose from an authoritarian regime to its current democratic system."

"International trade and food security were the topics that I covered," Alvarado said. "I had previous background knowledge in them because I had previously participated in Model UN and served with the World Trade Organization."

"I really enjoy being able to show off my knowledge off of World Affairs because I have been interested in global issues ever since I was in kindergarten," Alvarado said. "My previous colleagues would put me down for my love of current affairs, but this competition really gave me a chance to shine for who I am and appreciate that aspect of me. In terms of my teammates, I love to see it when it all clicks in their heads, and the light bulb goes off, and they understand how the world works. That is a beautiful thing."

"Not only did our team do the best ever from northern Nevada in our eight-year history of the competition," Daniel Villanueva, current assistant director of the Honors Program, said. "But every year that Reno has sent a team, we have beaten the team from southern Nevada."

For more information about the Davidson Academy visit their website.


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