Representatives Farrar, Exum, Gilchrest, Gibson, and Sanchez Announce Women's History Month Essay Contest Winners

April 28, 2023

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State Representatives Kate Farrar (D-West Hartford, Newington), Tammy Exum (D- West Hartford, Avon), Jillian Gilchrest (D- West Hartford), Bobby Gibson (D- Bloomfield, West Hartford), and James Sanchez (D- Hartford, West Hartford) announced the winners of their Women's History Month Essay Contest. This year's competition challenged students to answer one of the following prompts: who is the most influential woman in your life today and why? Or who is a historically overlooked woman that inspires you?

After careful review and consideration, Afaf Albur from Conrad High School and Sade Rueckert from Hall High School were selected as awardees. Afaf wrote a moving essay about his mother and Sade highlighted the accomplishments of Tillie Anderson, a road and track cyclist.

“I was inspired by all of the essays submitted," said Rep. Kate Farrar. "It is truly heartening to witness so many young West Hartford minds passionately explore women's history and their incomparable contributions to shaping our world."

"It was a great honor to read through so many beautifully written essays. West Hartford is blessed with so many talented and thoughtful young people. Thank you to all who submitted!" said Rep. Bobby Gibson.

“I appreciate, and also want to congratulate, everyone who submitted an essay for the contest. It was amazing to read about how young people in West Hartford have been impacted by either an influential woman in their lives today or an historically overlooked woman who inspires them,” said Rep. Tammy Exum. “I am thankful for the insightful perspective of our young leaders and the power of their words.”

 “The essay entries really showcased the talent of our young writers,” Rep. Jillian Gilchrest said. “I am proud of the hard work, effort, and time they invested to submit their best. I always find it so empowering to read about the women who have had an impact on the lives of our young people."

“I’m impressed by the quality of our young writers in West Hartford. These top-notch students showed off their passion, creativity, and knowledge,” said Rep. James Sánchez. “It’s encouraging to read about the women who influenced their lives in such a positive way. Congratulations to Afaf Albur and Sade Rueckert and all who participated.”

The top submissions from Hall and Conrad High School were recognized and received state citations. Each recipient received $500 from an anonymous donor through the Rotary International Club of West Hartford.