Byram Hills Grad Excels At Pace In Academic Competition

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Kelsey Berro, second from the left, stands with her College Federal Reserve Challenge teammates at Nationals, where they finished third. Photo Credit: Provided

ARMONK, N.Y. – Armonk native and 2011 Byram Hills High School graduate Kelsey Berro just finished a 2012 College Federal Reserve Challenge season to remember.

Her Pace University undergraduate team won first place in New York State in November and just finished third in the national round, which was held in Washington, D.C.

The College Federal Reserve Challenge is a national academic competition consisting of a 15-minute economic presentation followed by a 15-minute question and answer period. During the Q&A portion, students address questions about finance, economics, banking, and monetary policy administered by a panel of professionals who work at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Berro, now a sophomore, was one of five students on this year’s team. Her four teammates — Nashrah Ahmed, William Hellander, Daniel Boutarel and Sonia Sternick — were seniors.

“I was able to absorb a huge amount of knowledge quickly due to their guidance and mentorship,” said Berro. “Each team member has their individual strengths, whether in bank regulation or federal communication policy, and we were able to learn from each other.”

Pace beat 29 other colleges in three rounds of competition, including Hamilton, Cornell and New York University. The team also received the Lloyd Bromberg Teamwork Award for team coordination and presentation.

“There is a stigma that teams from big-name schools will automatically be our strongest competitors, but Pace University has been consistently placing in the winners circle at the Fed for the past few years,” said Berro.

Berro credits a big part of her success to her time at Byram Hills.

“Byram Hills High School prepares you very well for college,” she said. “The teachers at Byram expect a lot from you. At the time it seemed like too much work, but now I realize they were just preparing us for upper-level learning.”

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