Thursday February 15, 2018
Bailey Blow was recently named a finalist in Senator Bernie Sanders’ State of the Union essay contest. The competition, which is in its eighth year, gives Vermont high school students an opportunity to describe which issues they would prioritize if they were president. Entries from around the state are judged by a panel of seven Vermont teachers.
A senior at South Burlington High School, Blow’s entry was inspired by an assignment she received in her Public Issues and World Affairs class at SBHS. Her piece is an almost 500-word essay on climate change. She writes, “Climate change is more apparent now than it has ever been before. It is the most pressing issue facing not only our country, but the entire world.”
According to Senator Sanders’ office, this year, 585 students from 47 Vermont high schools submitted essays, more schools than any prior year. The senator invited the 20 finalists to join him for a roundtable discussion at the Statehouse in Montpelier February 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.”
The winners and finalists will also have their essays entered into the Congressional Record, the official archive of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
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.
Blow remarked, “I was thrilled when I was named a finalist! I couldn’t believe it. I am very honored to have this opportunity.”