Essex High School student wins Sanders' essay contest

WASHINGTON (WCAX) A freshman from Essex High School has won Sen. Bernie Sanders' ninth annual State of the Union essay contest.

The contest gives Vermont high school students an opportunity to describe which issues they would prioritize if they were president. Some 590 students submitted 250-500 word essays. Firdaus Muhammad is the first freshmen ever to win, with an essay about Islamophobia.

Sanders has invited the 20 finalists and their families to join him for a roundtable discussion at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Sanders will also enter the essays of the finalists into the Congressional Record.

The winners and finalists for this year's essay contest are:

First Place: Firdaus Muhammad (Essex High School, Freshman)
Second Place: Jackson Maiocco (Bellows Falls Union High School, Senior)
Third Place: Joseph Brody (St. Johnsbury Academy, Senior)

Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Megan Benway (Missisquoi Valley Union High School, Junior)
Thomas Buckley (Colchester High School, Freshman)
Brendyn Byrne (Essex High School, Junior)
Caroline Cassell (Hartford High School, Freshman)
Collin Chutter-Cressy (Burlington High School, Senior)
Felicia Daigle (Rice Memorial High School, Junior)
Paige Dean (South Burlington High School, Senior)
Anysa Denby (St. Johnsbury Academy, Sophomore)
Isabelle Desroches (Burr and Burton Academy, Senior)
Livia Greenberg (Stratton Mountain School, Junior)
Seth Harte (Burlington High School, Freshman)
Alexis Jablonski (St. Johnsbury Academy, Senior)
Simon Rosenbaum (Vermont Commons School, Freshman)
Andy Siki (Winooski High School, Senior)
Ragulan Sivakumar (South Burlington High School, Junior)
Fiona Therese (Compass School, Sophomore)
Henry Wu (Essex High School, Junior)

Click here to read the essays of the finalists and winners.