U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his eighth annual State of the Union essay contest last week, calling on Vermont’s high school students to address what they view as the major issues facing the United States.
As the president prepares to give his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress in January, Sanders invites students to describe what they think are the most pressing issues facing the country and what they would do to solve them. The 250-500 word essays can be on any issue of national importance.
A panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays and select a winner. The students’ political views have no impact on how the essays are judged. Essays are judged on the students’ ideas and arguments.
Finalists will have their essays entered into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Sanders will also hold a roundtable discussion with the finalists.
“Our students are the future of our country and they must be involved in the discussion about where our nation needs to go,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. “We need our students to be engaged, to help find solutions for the problems that face our country. That’s what democracy is all about.”