Model Congress at BCA: A Beacon Sweep

Marguerita Wang and Bethany Po

Every Wednesday morning, a group of BCA students from all different academies get together and participate in the Model Congress club. Like Model UN, club members discuss current events, play debate games, and prepare for conferences. In conferences, delegates come together in small committees, write legislation, and debate if those bills should pass. Passed bills move on to the full committee, where the entire conference debates and votes. Model Congress gives participants insight into the legislative process and the amount of thought that goes into each law.

Bethany Po, the president of BCA Model Congress, created the club because she is passionate about the legal system and hopes to become a lawyer or policymaker. However, the more she learned and developed the club, the more she realized that Model Congress is for everyone — future scientists, businesspeople, and doctors also joined.

Marguerite Wang (AAST 2026) said, “I chose to join Model Congress because I wanted to learn more about the world around me while debating on important topics while learning important skills for my future.”

For vice president Christine Seo (ABF 2025), Model Congress’s unique structure drew her to the club. She remarked that the club had a “simultaneous emphasis on public speaking and understanding complex political concepts,” which makes MoCo so distinct.

Ada Alp, another member, said that “The fact that we get to talk about current events and try and solve them is really interesting to me. It gives me an insight into how much work goes into planning a bill- planning anything in Congress for that matter- which I hadn’t previously realized until I joined the club.”

Another integral part of the Model Congress club is attending conferences. Recently, BCA had the opportunity to attend the Beacon Model Congress Conference, held by the Beacon School in NYC. On April 22, 2023, five delegates debated and won awards. Some esteemed speakers spoke about their experiences.

One of the speakers was Harvey Epstein, a New York State Representative, who told delegates about how Model Congress inspired him to reach the position that he is in today. Moreover, he told students about opportunities that they could take to get involved in making changes now. It was a great first conference for the Bergen County Academies; two attendees won honorable mentions, and one won best delegate within their respective committees.

Marguerite Wang found the conference enriching. “It was nice to debate and collaborate with other delegates on bills and get a feel for how Congress works. I gained a better understanding of how Model Congress worked overall and knowledge about important topics. Not only was I able to meet people from other schools, but I was also able to spend time with BCA friends.”

Tony Wang (AEDT 2025), another BCA delegate, said that the highlight of Beacon was the trip itself. “The food in NYC was great and it was definitely the highlight of the conference.”

In the future, the club hopes to attend other prestigious Ivy League conferences. In the meantime, BCA Model Congress is preparing for its inaugural conference for middle schoolers. The competition is posed to take place sometime next school year.

If this club interests you, please contact Bethany ( for more information. Stay tuned for more next year!