Winners of First Amendment essay contest announced by Secretary of State

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized four Kentucky high school students for winning her office’s 30th annual essay contest. She held a ceremony Thursday at Rupp Arena during the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament.

The winners in their respective grades are:

9th Grade Winner – Lavery Malena Hughes from Barren Co. High School
10th Grade Winner – Jillian Jacobs from Western Hills High School
11th Grade Winner – Ella Olivia Burch from Allen Co. High School
12th Grade Winner – Theodore Arthur Ehrenborg from Henry Clay High School

“Everywhere you turn, young people are driving engagement in their schools, their communities, and in Kentucky,” said Grimes. “These four young men and women are incredible representatives of all the young people who are getting up, getting out and getting loud are making a difference right now. I know Kentucky’s future is very bright.”

Created in 1988, the Secretary of State’s essay contest serves to inspire students to be active and informed citizens, with particular emphasis on election-related issues. High school students are invited to write essays regarding the First Amendment and elections. Entries were judged on research and understanding of voting and the First Amendment, idea development, organization, language and correctness. The University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center judges the anonymous contest entries.

Each winner received a $1,000 cash scholarship made possible by the Office of Secretary of State and its partners, Northern Kentucky University, KEA and KEA Retired, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Winners of the slogan contest, which is open to students in grades 6 through 8, will be announced separately.

For more information about the Secretary’s annual contests, visit

We hope to get the winning essays to be able to share them with newspapers to publish the articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *