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National Winner Named in New America's 2009 Improving the Lives of Children Essay Contest

Published:   June 15, 2009
Bedford, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. -- Daniel Robbins, a graduating senior of Fox Lane High School in Bedford, NY, was named first place winner of the New America Foundation's Improving the Lives of Children Essay Contest.

At the announcement ceremony today, Daniel Robbins received a $2,500 prize for college. Congressman John J. Hall, from the 19th Congressional District in New York, presented the check.

This year's winner was selected from more than 3,400 entrants, from high schools in every state in the country.

The essay contest is held with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

High school seniors wrote 600 words on the question, "You have just been elected the President of the United States.  What is the most important thing you will do to improve the lives of America's children?" Essays are judged on the quality of both the ideas and the writing.

"The purpose of the 'Improving the Lives of Children' Essay contest is to draw attention to the need for new ideas that can make a difference in the lives of America's youth.  Daniel's essay highlights some of the critical needs of America's young people," said David Gray, Director of the Workforce and Family Program at New America.

The contest finalist judges included a former First Lady of Pennsylvania, former State Education Officer of the District of Columbia and a regional leader at Youth Venture.

"We received wonderfully insightful essays from young people across the nation," said Mr. Gray. "We were very impressed by the caliber of the essays. We hope this contest and the work around it continues to draw attention to the need for investments in young people."

The New America Foundation's Workforce and Family Program educates and engages policy-makers and the public to build consensus around new policy solutions that benefit children, strengthen families, improve workforce skill development, help Americans balance their work and life commitments, and enhance the competitiveness of the American economy. The program conducts research, holds conferences and events and promotes innovative, market-oriented solutions to pressing public problems.

The 2009 Winner is:

"Improving the Lives of Children" by Daniel Robbins, Bedford, NY - Fox Lane High School

The 2009 finalists are:
Tara Murphy, Tucson, AZ - Marana High School
Isaac Fonken, Estes Park, CO - Wilderness Academy Home School
Neil Menon, Wyoming, OH - Wyoming High School
Kate O'Connor, Plymouth, MI  - Salem High School
Sophia Zhang, Charlotte, NC - North Mecklenburg High School
Margaret Dudasik, Nutley, NJ - Academy of the Holy Angels
Daniel Robbins, Bedford, NY - Fox Lane High School
Erika DiLorenzo, Clifton Park, NY - Catholic Central High School
Tyrik Thorn, Philadelphia, PA - William L. Sayre High School
Abby O'Hare, Sayre, PA - Sayre Area High School

Media interested in covering New America's Improving the Lives of Children Essay Contest should contact Erin Drankoski at 202-997-8727 or drankoski@newamerica.net

About New America
The New America Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute whose purpose is to bring exceptionally promising new ideas and new voices to the fore of our nation's public discourse. New America is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has offices in California.