Students Named Winners in National Essay Contest

Fox Chapel Area High School 2015-2016 sophomore Jacob Klein and Taylor Allderdice High School 2015-2016 junior Anna Wan were named national winners in The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) Essay Contest. Jacob and Anna are two of only approximately 50 winners from across the nation and the only two winners from Pennsylvania. The essay topic was “2016 Marks the 240th Anniversary of the Virginia Declaration of Rights Penned by George Mason of Gunston Hall; Why Does This Historic Document Remain Relevant Today?” Essays were judged locally, regionally, and nationally.

As national winners, Jacob and Anna received full scholarships to attend a Congressional Seminar Workshop in Washington, D.C. The seminar was held June 18-24, 2016, and the students stayed at American University in Washington, D.C. Presented by the Washington Workshops Foundation – a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan education foundation located in Washington D.C. – the Congressional Seminar engages qualified high school students in active legislative simulation during a weeklong model Congress. Playing the roles of freshman representatives, speakers, lobbyists, and caucus leaders, participants work to draft, revise, and hopefully pass a bill through a vote of their seminar peers. Additionally, seminar participants enjoyed lectures, site visits, and personal interactions with Washington, D.C.-based policy makers, professionals, and representatives. Jacob and Anna also received $250 cash awards.

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America actively promotes national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects. Founded in 1891, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America is an association of 46 Corporate Societies with more than 15,000 members. The society headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and programs and projects include the annual national essay contest.

Since 1967, the Washington Workshops Foundation has provided experience-based, educational travel programs to highly-motivated, academically-prepared, and inquisitive students from across the United States and around the world. The majority of these programs have brought students to Washington, D.C., for a more comprehensive understanding of leadership, civic education, federal government, U.S. politics, and global affairs.