Local Essayist Advances to National Semifinals

The Citizen Chronicle Announces Local Winners

SOUTHERN WORCESTER COUNTY – The Citizen Chronicle congratulates Anya Grondalski, a student at Shepherd Hill Regional High School, for being selected as a semifinalist in the National Student Essay Competition.  Congratulations are also extended to Gabriella Grondalski, a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who won the local distinction of best in her age category (college or university).  Anya Grondalski won the local distinction in her age category (high school) before advancing to the national semifinals. 

The National Student Essay Competition asked newspapers across the country to provide a forum for students, in middle school, high school, and post-secondary age categories, to submit essays on “why a free press matters in a democracy.” The Citizen Chronicle sponsored the essay contest for its local readership area and selected essays to advance to the national level.

“We applaud the winning essayists as well and thank them for dedicating time and thought to the First Amendment,” comments Mary Kay Lazarus, National Student Essay Competition Director. 

National winners will be selected among the semifinalists and will be announced later this summer. Awards will be presented on November 7, 2020, at the fifteenth annual lecture series “In Praise of Independent Journalism” sponsored by the McCarthey Family Foundation, which is also funding this national competition. The Boston Globe Foundation will award $5,000 to each winner. The overall winner will receive a full four-year scholarship, current total value of $152,000, to Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The mission of the National Student Essay Competition is to add the untapped but powerful voices of our students to public recognition of the invaluable service newspapers provide their communities and to cultivate these future leaders, enlightened citizens, and faithful readers as lifelong defenders of the First Amendment.

The Citizen Chronicle congratulates Anya Grondalski and Gabriella Grondalski on their achievement in this essay contest. 


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