Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has launched his eleventh annual State of the Union essay contest.
Each January, the President of the United States delivers the “State of the Union” address to a joint session of Congress, which outlines priorities for the coming year. Because Senator Sanders knows that great ideas can come from everyone – not just those in power – and wants to encourage young people to become engaged in the political process, he created the State of the Union Essay Contest. The contest is an opportunity for Vermont high school students to describe a major issue facing our country and propose what they would do to solve it.
The 250-500 word essays can be on any issue of national importance. A volunteer panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays on the students’ ability to articulate an issue and propose a solution, without regard to the students’ political views. Senator Sanders will enter the essays of the ten finalists into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the U.S. Congress.
“I started this essay contest 11 years ago to help our students be actively engaged, no matter where they stand on the issues,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. “This year, our state and nation face a health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a renewed fight for racial justice. Many of you have seen family members struggle because of lost wages or health concerns, you have been asked to learn online, and you face a future that may feel uncertain. To my mind, the unprecedented nature of this time makes it more important than ever to hear perspectives and innovative ideas from you, our young people.”
More than 4,600 students from high schools throughout Vermont have written essays in the past ten years about critically important issues, including climate change, access to mental health care, the rising cost of college, and much, much more. Last year, Isabelle Hiller from Woodstock Union High School was selected as the winner from 536 submissions for her essay on criminal justice reform.
The deadline for student essay submissions is Jan. 12, 2021. More information can be found on Sanders’ Senate webpage at https://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion or by calling (800) 339-9834.
Source: BURLINGTON, November 24 — Senator Bernie Sanders