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Winners of Connecticut Bar Foundation Essay Contest Announced

by | Jul 6, 2022

A statewide high school essay contest focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic generated a record-breaking number of submissions from across Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF).

The CBF and the James W. Cooper Fellows recently announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Quintin Johnstone Statewide High School essay contest, which drew submissions from 46 schools.

Junseong Jo, a senior at Canterbury School, is the statewide winner of the contest. The two runners up are Caroline Dziekan, who recently graduated from East Hampton High School, and Sophie Citron, a senior at Greenwich High School. Jo was awarded a $2,000 cash prize while Dziekan and Citron each won $1,000.

The theme of this year’s contest was “Throwing Away Our Shot?” Students played the role of attorney in writing their essays, advising a school district on how to handle student complaints and appeals with regard to a certain COVID-19 policy.

Students were asked about whether a policy of excluding unvaccinated students from sports and extracurricular activities due to limited resources should be upheld, and whether a student who was vaccinated – but had severe underlying health issues – should be allowed to return to in-person learning.

James W. Cooper Fellows – a group made up of state and federal judges, law school professors, and practicing attorneys – volunteered their time to judge the essays.

State Supreme Court Justices Raheem L. Mullins, Gregory T. D’Auria and Steven D. Ecker attended a June ceremony to honor the award recipients.