Sophomore Joy Rutt was recently recognized in the 2016 Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office annual high school essay contest as a national finalist. The essay contest highlights the perspectives of youth on significant public policy issues and promotes the involvement of young people in faithful witness to government authorities.

The contest was open to Anabaptist youth of high school age and to all youth who attend Mennonite high schools. Entries were judged on the participants’ understanding of the issues, clarity of argument and degree of creativity in crafting thoughtful policy positions. Students could choose to write on one of three topics: police militarization, climate change or the problems facing prisoners being returned to society. Rutt’s essay, titled “Clanging Doors”, was about recidivism in the US prison system.

Last fall, several students in Mrs. Weaver-Kreider’s Academic Writing class entered their research papers in the contest.