Harter Secrest & Emery Recognizes Three Rochester Students in 10th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, a full-service business law firm with offices throughout New York, once again honored a group of local students for capturing the spirit and articulating the important and relevant message of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The firm recently announced the winners of its 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest. The topic of this year’s essay was, “What does Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean to you?”  The contest was open to all third, fourth, and fifth grade students enrolled in the Rochester City School District. After reviewing a total of 224 essay submissions, Harter Secrest & Emery’s Diversity Committee identified the top submissions, and members of the firm selected one winner at each grade level. This year’s winners are:

  • Eylijah Joseph, Third Grade, Clara Barton School # 2
    • Teacher: Kelly Carreira
    • Principal: Sharon Murrell Dilbert
  • Dereck Xavier Beltran Pagan, Fourth Grade, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School #9
    • Teacher: Arlen Perez-Leon
    • Principal: Sharon Jackson
  • Matthew Howland, Fifth Grade, Francis Parker School #23
    • Teacher: Jason Ford
    • Principal: Kathryn Yarlett-Fenti

“Over the past ten years of sharing this program with the Rochester City School District more than 1800 students, in 250 classrooms, have submitted essays honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Julia E. Green, Harter Secrest & Emery partner, who co-leads the firm’s Diversity Committee. “Congratulations to all of the students, teachers, and principals who took part in this year’s contest. We continue to be so impressed with the quality and passion evident in each essay and the dedication to this program.”

Each winner received a personal gift, a gift card, and a pizza party for their classroom. In addition, each winning student’s teacher received a gift card to be used toward supplies for his or her classroom. Additional pizza parties were raffled off for every class that achieved 100% student participation in the essay contest, and Certificates of Participation were given to every participating classroom across the district. 

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