Spanberger Announces Jerry Zhang, Abigail Kaikkonen, Marguerite Yates, and Ella Mortimer as Winners of Student Essay Contest

The Congresswoman Launched the Contest to Help Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Earlier this month, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced Jerry Zhang, Abigail Kaikkonen, Marguerite Yates, and Ella Mortimer as the winners of her civic engagement student essay contest.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Spanberger invited students to respond to the question: “What does civic engagement mean to you?” Over the past few weeks, Spanberger received student submissions from all over Central Virginia.

Zhang and Kaikkonen will be invited to spend a day in Spanberger’s Washington, D.C. office to get a behind-the-scenes look at Congress. Yates and Mortimer will be invited to meet with Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th District and get an up-close view of how the District office works to serve the people of Central Virginia.

“After reading dozens of essays from students across Central Virginia, I feel more optimistic than ever about the future of our Commonwealth,” said Spanberger. “The responses we collected demonstrate a culture of service among high school students in Virginia’s Seventh District. Students in the Seventh are embracing civic engagement through community service projects and political activism. These students are thinking about civic engagement on a national and state level, as well as what it means in their local, person-to-person relationships. Regardless of what challenges face Virginia in the coming years, I’m confident that our students, with their unassailable passion and keen instinct for service and community-building, will be ready to meet them.”

Since taking office, Spanberger has voted to double the amount that teachers can deduct from their taxes for classroom supplies bought out-of-pocket. A graduate of Henrico County Public Schools, Spanberger is committed to supporting educators across Central Virginia and modelling a career in public service for students.


Recent Posts

Feb 29, 2024
Economy & Jobs

Spanberger Statement on Vote to Prevent Government Shutdown, Protect Virginia’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass a short-term, stopgap funding measure — known as a “continuing resolution” — to avoid a shutdown that would damage Virginia’s economy. The legislation includes two staggered deadlines to keep the federal […]

Feb 29, 2024

During Black History Month, Spanberger Introduces Bill to Name Fredericksburg Post Office for Civil Rights Leader, Gladys P. Todd

Gladys P. Todd Was A Revered School Teacher, Voting Rights Advocate, & Community Organizer in Fredericksburg WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today introduced legislation to rename a Fredericksburg post office after Gladys P. Todd, a prominent leader in the Fredericksburg civil rights movement. Located at 1285 Emancipation Highway in Fredericksburg, the post office […]

Feb 28, 2024

Spanberger Leads Virginia Lawmakers in Working to Protect $30 Internet Discount for Virginia Families, Fund Affordable Connectivity Program

The “Affordable Connectivity Program” Right Now Helps More than 455,000 Virginia Households Afford High-Speed Internet WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today led members of the Virginia congressional delegation in a bipartisan effort urging the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations to extend funding for a key discount program that allows more Virginia families to […]