For the fourth time in five years, a GPS student has been named the state winner of the U.S. Institute of Peace Essay Contest and will compete for a national award. Junior Monica Justo received the judges’ nod for first place for her essay which compared two case studies in which new media played a role in conflict resolution.
In addition to Ms. Justo, the other awards, two honorable mentions, were presented to GPS juniors Becky Gardner and Sophie Epstein. All are students of AP English teacher Kathleen Berotti.
For her winning entry, Ms. Justo receives $1,000 and a five-day all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC and a conference that will focus on “understanding the nature and process of international peacemaking.” Ms. Justo and other state winners will meet with distinguished foreign policy scholars and diplomats and visit historic national memorials and museums in June during their week in Washington, where the national winner will be announced.
The Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding sponsors the essay contest that annually draws entries from over 1,100 students. Ms. Justo’s 1,500-word essay is titled New Media’s Effect on the Philippines and Somalia: “Make This Your Status If...”
In 2008, Callie Smith '09 attended the national program in Washington, D.C. and received the top national prize for her essay. Ioana Florea ’10 was the state winner in 2009, and Danielle Chirumbole ’11 won the prize in 2010.