Wednesday May 22, 2024
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Secretary Grimes Recongizes Annual Essay Contest Winners

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized four Kentucky high school students for winning her office’s 28th annual essay contest. She held a ceremony at Rupp Arena during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament.

The winners in their respective grades are:

  • 12th grade – Olivia Beecham (St. Henry District High School, Erlanger)
  • 11th grade – James Michnya (Trinity High School, Louisville)
  • 10th grade – Theodore Ehrenborg (Henry Clay High School, Lexington)
  • 9th grade – William Dolan (J. Graham Brown School, Louisville)

Created in 1988, the Secretary of State’s essay contest serves to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. High school students are invited to write essays regarding the First Amendment and elections. Entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness. The University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center judges the anonymous contest entries.

“James, Olivia, Theodore, and William are great representatives of the many young Kentuckians who are already engaged,” said Grimes. “Kentucky’s future will be bright with leaders like them. I am proud of each of the contest participants for taking part, and I encourage all Kentucky high school students to enter next year.”

Each winner received a $1,000 cash scholarship made possible by the Office of Secretary of State and its partners, KEA and KEA Retired, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, the Kentucky Department of Education, and Harp Enterprises, Inc.

Winners of the slogan contest, which is open to students in grades 6 through 8, will be announced separately.

For more information about the Secretary’s annual contests, visit

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