Lower Merion High School juniors Charissa Howard and Alex Greenblatt recently earned accolades in The New York Times' 8th Annual Student Editorial Contest – a nationwide competition held each spring providing middle and high school students an opportunity to write opinion pieces on the issues that matter to them.
More than 11,2000 students from throughout the United States submitted editorials to this year's contest crafting cogent arguments on a range of issues from the profound to the commonplace. According to The New York Times' website, this year's batch of entries included the following topics, among others: "Snow days being replaced with remote learning. Food waste that contributes to climate change. Anti-Asian discrimination. The exploitation of gig workers. Expectations around women's body hair. School shootings. Omission of the Oxford comma. A calculator company that has a monopoly in math classes. Gamers not being considered real athletes."
Howard was one of only 16 students to earn the runner-up distinction for her essay entitled, Why I Want to Be a Foreign Exchange Student 30 Minutes Away, which explored the divisive culture of partisanship in America, the ever-growing schism between opposing political ideologies and how this problem will continue to devolve as each group becomes more entrenched in their respective echo chambers. As a runner-up, Howard's essay was among the top-26 in the nation. The essay can be found here on The New York Times' website.
Greenblatt's piece – Combating Stress? Piece of Cake! – also advanced to the final round, which means she finished among the top-200 entries out of the 11,202 total submissions. A full list of results can be found here.