What is the State of the Union?
Sen. Bernie Sanders announced the winner and top finalists in his annual State of the Union essay contest for Vermont high school students.
A panel of four Vermont teachers judged the essays and selected Caroline Braun, a junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, as the winner. “There is no simple cure for the abundant issues plaguing our nation,” Braun wrote. “Not only are we recovering from a recession, but we also are confronting challenges related to climate change, health care, and education. As a world leader and role model for democracy and peace, we need initiatives that not only connect people and communities, but also ones that will act as catalysts for change.”
Emily Ellsworth, a junior at Colchester High School, finished second in the essay contest. Genevieve Chiola, a freshman at Mt. Abraham Union High School, finished in third place. In addition to the top three essays, 21 essays were selected as finalists.
Altogether, more than 300 high school students from dozens of high schools throughout Vermont submitted essays on what they consider the major issues facing the United States and how they view the state of the union.
“I am pleased that we had more students participating this year than last,” Sanders said. “I hope, in the years to come, the number of students and schools that participate continue to grow. We need our young people to be engaged, to help find solutions for the problems that confront us, and to think about the future of our country. This is what democracy is all about.”
Sanders will enter the essays of the winner and the finalists into the Congressional Record. The finalists will also have the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with the senator to discuss the issues they wrote about in their essays.
The roundtable has been scheduled for March 9 at South Burlington High School.