Harter Secrest & Emery Recognizes Three Rochester Students in 9th 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 9th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest. The topic of this year’s essay was, “If you could talk to Dr. King today, what would you suggest that we can do now to help make his message of understanding and appreciating our differences come true?” The contest was open to all third, fourth, and fifth grade students enrolled in the Rochester City School District. After reviewing an impressive total of 278 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:

  • Cherish Lovett, Third Grade, Dr. Charles Lunsford School #19
    • Teachers: Sean Heirigs, Jamie Lillis, Brenda Driscoll, Emily Fragale, James Doran
    • Principal: Moniek Silas-Lee
  • Gylvanna Esmurria, Fourth Grade, Martin Luther King Jr. School #9
    • Teacher: Angelique Nunez, Arlen Perez-Leon
    • Principal: Sharon Jackson
  • Penina Niyubahwe, Fifth Grade, The Children’s School of Rochester School #15
    • Teacher: Jennifer Benton, Theresa Moraldo
    • Principal: Jay Piper

“We had yet another year with impressive levels of participation in this essay contest, one of the highlights of our firm’s annual celebration of Dr. King,” said Julia E. Green, Harter Secrest & Emery partner, who co-leads the firm’s Diversity Committee. “With each new year we are grateful for and inspired by the students’ and teachers’ commitment to helping celebrate Dr. King’s legacy in a thoughtful and community-oriented manner. We congratulate all of the students, teachers, and administrators who participated this year and look forward to, hopefully, increased participation next year!” 

Each winner received a personal gift, a $50 gift card, and a pizza party for their classroom. In addition, each winning student’s teacher received a $200 gift card to be used toward supplies for his or her classroom. Additional pizza parties were raffled off for every class that achieved 100 percent student participation in the essay contest, and Certificates of Appreciation were given to every participating classroom across the district.

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