“In 2013, I met Ezra on the fields of BT where we would be teammates playing lacrosse. As a 6th grader, I remember feeling so out of my league. Ezra was two years ahead of me and, in my eyes, "the big man on campus." He was everything I wanted to be - gregarious, extraordinarily motivated and driven, trusted, admired by others, optimistic, and had a keen sense of how to connect with people in a meaningful and authentic way instantly. Ezra entered high school the following year, and I figured our friendship would fade away; however, knowing Ezra, that ceased to occur.
For those who did not have the honor to know Ezra, let me give you a few examples of why Ezra was one of the most influential people in my life. In my final weeks of ninth grade, a yearly obsession plagued the school as teachers released their recommendations for advanced placement courses. I recall many friends expressing their happiness and pride, while others, including myself, experienced rejection, and disappointment. Later that day, I randomly ran into Ezra in the hallway and explained what had happened to me. He then recommended that I write a persuasive letter detailing my qualifications and desire for the advanced placement course. To my surprise, I gained entry. That was one of the first and most crucial lessons Ezra taught me about advocating for myself. I will forever be grateful to Ezra for his guidance and support.
He took me under his wing once again as he showed me the vast clubs BT has to offer. As Ezra guided me through different information sessions, I finally got to see the clubs he passionately participated in, such as Mock Trial, Model UN, Student Government, and AIPAC. While I told Ezra that I would not do well speaking in front of large groups or leading a crowd, he offered to coach me for tryouts. With his guidance, I was fortunate to make the Mock trial team and the Model UN team a year later. Whether in the courtroom where we matched as an attorney witness pair or representing different countries to solve global challenges, I learned how to speak publicly, debate, research and analyze data, and most importantly, grow into a confident student leader. Ezra embraced this role as my mentor throughout Mock Trial and Model UN, instilling professional and personal skills in me. Through my involvement in these clubs, Ezra taught me the art of compromise and persuasion and the skills to advocate for change. Ezra helped me find my voice. Being a part of Model UN and Mock Trial helped me realize that I had leadership potential and social abilities that probably would not have been discovered without these experiences or Ezra being a part of my life. I am forever grateful to Ezra; without his guidance and support, I would not be where I am today.
To those who aspire to join Mock Trial or Model UN - make that investment in yourself.
– Zach Pearlstone '20