Sanders announces essay contest winners
BURLINGTON — Students at Woodstock Union High School, St. Johnsbury Academy and Hanover High School took the top three places in U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' eighth annual State of the Union essay contest, which gives Vermont high school students an opportunity to describe which issues they would prioritize if they were president.
A panel of seven Vermont teachers who served as volunteer judges selected Marjorie Parker, a sophomore at Woodstock Union High School, as this year's winner. Parker focused on the need to prevent hate crimes, particularly against members of the LGBT community.
"With the recent military ban on transgender Americans, the LGBT community is feeling singled out and at risk," Parker wrote. "One way to bring a greater feeling of peace to these fellow Americans is by increasing protections instead of taking them away."
Alaura Rich, a senior at St. Johnsbury Academy, was the second-place winner. Rich wrote about the prohibitive cost of a college education and the need for the United States to have the best-educated workforce in the world. "The Declaration of Independence birthed the underlying fundamental foundation of our nation's belief in both opportunity and upward mobility, and it is the responsibility of the United States government to ensure equal educational opportunities for all," Rich wrote.
Oliver Minshall, a junior at Hanover High School, wrote about income inequality and was the third-place winner. "To improve the state of this great country, we must find a solution to the pernicious scourge of income inequality and create a more just, equitable and sustainable path for our economy," Minshall wrote.
This year, 585 students from 47 Vermont high schools submitted 250-500 word essays — more schools than any prior year.
Sanders has invited the 20 finalists to join him for a roundtable discussion at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Saturday, Feb. 10 to discuss the issues they wrote about in their essays.
"I always enjoy speaking with these students about what they would change to make our country a better place," said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. "We need our students to help find solutions for the problems that face our country. That's what democracy is all about."
Since Sanders held the first State of the Union essay contest, thousands of students from schools throughout Vermont have written essays on a wide range of important issues such as the declining middle class, climate change, health care, the national debt, the rising cost of a college education and many other topics.
To read the winning essays, click here.
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Winners of 2016-17 Best Gateway Essay Contest Announced
March 7, 2018
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Wesleyan University Writing Committee announced Thursday the winners of the 2016-17 Best Gateway Essay Contest.
Each year, Gateway instructors are invited to nominate up to three student essays from their Gateway sections. The papers submitted by students for the contest were evaluated first by teams of Writing Center tutors. The Writing Committee then reviewed these and selected a winner and two runners-up. The winner will receive $150, and the runners-up will receive $75 each. Associate Dean of Curricular and Faculty Development Kevin Sullivan provides the funds for these awards.
The 2016-17 Winners are:
Winner: Aaron Manuel, for his essay, "Goldman's Paradox: Imperfect Perfection," nominated by Prof. Mark Criley from his Gateway section, "Punishment."
Runner-up: Kalen Gray, for his essay, "The New Face of Civil Revolution," nominated by Prof. Nawaraj Chaulagain from his Gateway section, "Peace and War."
Runner-up: Haley Steward, for her essay, "Mary Tyler Moore and her role in the feminist movement," nominated by Prof. Jim Plath from his Gateway section, "Sitcoms and Society."