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Students from Mount Dora and Lake Minneola high schools win Legislative Days essay contest

Congratulations to Alexandra Frazier and Josephine DiRusso, both of Mount Dora High School, and Jessica Lykins of Lake Minneola High School. The three students recently won the Lake County Legislative Days essay contest sponsored by The Chamber Alliance of Lake County and funded by the Lake County Education Foundation.

They will participate in a VIP trip to Tallahassee as part of the Lake County Legislative Days event next week. The trip will include tours of the old and new capitol buildings, Florida Supreme Court building, and Governor’s Mansion; a Legislative Planning Breakfast; a VIP reception; and visits with Rep. Larry Metz, Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, Rep. Richard Stark and Rep. Maureen O’Toole.

Contestants were asked to write on one of two topics:

  1. There appears to be apathy among youth today as to political involvement. If given the opportunity what would you do to change it?
  2. Should politicians be held to a higher ethical standard than you and I?

In her essay on apathy, Jessica Lykins wrote, “With the right combination of exposure and opportunity, we can make a real difference in the perception of politics among today’s youth. We have to put a stop to political apathy. We do not want our era to be defined as the generation that simply ignored the preamble’s call to ‘establish a more perfect union.’ ”

Alexandra Frazier wrote about ethical standards: “Politicians are given countless responsibilities, and in return we are expected to uphold them to high standards. In addition, their overall character and integrity should always be of selfless motives and sincere judgments that would surpass our own.”

Josephine DiRusso agreed. She wrote, “Politicians should be held to higher ethical standards than you or I because they are given many opportunities to select options that will heavily benefit the individual but also deprive the people that they represent. … The decisions we make have a ripple effect on those around us, so for the sake of others and those we love, we have to make sure our choices are the right ones.”

The essays will be published in full in the Daily Commercial newspaper.