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    27th Annual Political Essay Contest

    2/7/2012
    Tomas Navia's essay on Cesar Chavez wins first place.

    Cesar Chavez's heroic fight for farm workers' rights was the topic of the winning essay by University School senior, Tomas J. Navia, in the school's 27th annual Political Awareness Essay Competition. The awards ceremony was held today at the Hunting Valley Campus.

    In his essay, from "Sal Si Puede to Si Se Puede": Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers, Tomas discusses how Chavez risked everything to change the deeply-rooted agricultural system in California to benefit migrant workers.

    The second place winner of the essay contest was senior Ryan Huang, whose essay is entitled, Allies and Adversaries: McCarthy and the Press. The third place prize was awarded to sophomore, Samuel Weitzman, for his essay, Morality and Security: The Role of the United States in Genocide Prevention.

    Honorable mentions went to senior Lloyd Anderson, senior Bardia Rahmani, and sophomore Andrew Blackwell.

    The contest, which is open to all Upper School students, is aimed at stimulating political awareness and encouraging students to think and write clearly about issues in politics. The essays, from 1,000 to 2,000 words in length, must demonstrate original research and are judged on the basis of logical and imaginative thinking and the expression of thoughts in a clear, provocative style.

    This year, University School welcomed Graham Veysey, US class of 2000, as the guest speaker. Veysey is an Emmy Award-winning television producer who owns multiple small businesses in Cleveland. He was part of the original launch team of the media company Plum TV, and later organized voter outreach in parts of Appalachian Ohio for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. A graduate of Bates College, Veysey is running for the Democratic nomination for the 9th U.S. Congressional District in Ohio.

    University School's Class of 1935 established the Political Awareness Essay Competition in 1985. At its 50th reunion, the class wanted to give a lasting gift to the school that would academically inspire the students. They decided to endow a political essay prize, which would create interest in political matters and encourage boys to think and write about them logically and passionately.