Student earns honors in geography challenge

If you’re driving due west from Dodge City, which state will you first come to? Where is the world-famous Waimea Canyon? Which former Portuguese colony became part of China in 1999?

Although these questions may leave many people puzzled, Samuel Levit, a junior at Marlboro High School, does not hesitate in giving the correct answer.

Samuel, who has had an interest in geography since the age of 10, scored among the top five New Jersey high school students in the annual AAA Travel High School Challenge.

According to the American Automobile Association, the purpose of the national competition is to increase teens’ travel knowledge and geographic literacy, and to develop an awareness of career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry.

Samuel admits that he may have a firsthand travel advantage over his classmates. Born in Moldova, he has already traveled to more than 20 countries, including Israel, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Malta, France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxem-bourg; Canada, Mexico and most of the Caribbean. He hopes to add Germany and Iceland to his list this summer.