EducationThe White Plains Examiner

White Plains Dems to Hold First Essay Contest for Local Residents, Students

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Rep Mondaire Jones
The top three essayists will receive a cash prize of $500, $250 and $100, respectively, and as an added bonus, will have lunch with Rep. Mondaire Jones.

If you’re a high school student who lives or attends school in White Plains, there’s a new essay contest that may be of interest.

The White Plains Democratic City Committee is sponsoring an inaugural competition asking students that if they were just elected president of the United States, what would their vision and the goals for the country be. The essay may also include any specific proposals that they would make.

“I thought it would be great to do this for the high school students because I think the topic is kinds of an interesting topic,” said Ellen Berger, the committee’s program chair. “We’d love to see what students think about and how they deal with this country going forward with all the things that we’ve been going through.”

Eligible contestants can either live within White Plains’ borders or go to school in the city, whether it’s White Plains High School, Stepinac or Solomon Schechter, Berger said.

The essay has a 1,000-word limit and must be submitted by the deadline at 11:59 p.m. on Apr. 26. It is expected that the first-, second- and third-place finishers will be contacted by mid-May, she said.

The top three essayists will receive a cash prize of $500, $250 and $100, respectively, and as an added bonus, will have lunch with Rep. Mondaire Jones.

Berger said the committee was hoping to involve the city’s youth and hope to get them to consider topics of importance. What side they may take on an issue or what they would find important is irrelevant, she said. The judges will be evaluating the essays based on ideas and content, quality of reasoning, creativity and originality, quality of writing and structure and organization.

“Especially in a city like White Plains, which is so diverse, I think it’s great to have issues brought before our community and have good discussions about issues between all different parts of our community,” Berger said. “That’s what our goal is today.”

She said that they reached out to Jones to see if he would want to participate in meeting the top entrants for lunch at a future time. He agreed to do so, which is an added attraction for the eventual top finishers.

In addition to the word count and the strict deadline, the essays must be the student’s original work and must include their name, address, e-mail, school that they attend and telephone number.

For anyone with questions, e-mail Additional information can be found at or on the White Plains Democratic City Committee’s Facebook page.

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