WASHINGTON —In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced on Monday that 15 elementary, middle, and high school students from across Connecticut were selected as winners of his second annual ‘Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Challenge.’ Approximately 700 students submitted essays to Murphy’s office reflecting on Dr. King’s dream and their own aspirations. Murphy invited the winners to attend a pancake breakfast celebration. The winning essays will be displayed in Murphy’s office. All students who submitted essays by the January 10, 2018, deadline will receive a Congressional gold seal note from Murphy’s office thanking them for their participation.

“Dr. King inspired us all to fight for justice and equality. For the second year in a row, I’m totally blown away by the essays and ideas of these students. It was hard to pick just a few winners,” said Murphy. “Today, we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and I hope that students across Connecticut who wrote essays took it as an opportunity to do so. If they stay engaged and fight hard for what they believe in, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”

Congressional District #1 Winners:

  • Aarav Mathur – Aiken Elementary School in West Hartford
  • Zishan Ahmed – John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plantsville
  • Malik Martin – Connecticut River Academy in East Hartford

Congressional District #2 Winners:

  • Quentin Kuczaj – Windermere School in Ellington
  • Avni Kabra – East Lyme Middle School
  • Colleen Keller – East Lyme High School

Congressional District #3 Winners:

  • Rodney Crockett Jr. – Moody Elementary School in Middletown
  • Maia Quarles – City Hill Middle School in Naugatuck
  • Alex Guzhnay – Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven

Congressional District #4 Winners:

  • Ryan El-ouardighi – K.T. Murphy School in Stamford
  • Kristopher Flores – Roton Middle School in Norwalk
  • Latrel Stewart – Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk

Congressional District #5 Winners:

  • Kenneth Konrad Miller – Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown
  • Kyler Kumi – Rochanmbeau Middle School in Southbury
  • Karl Daniel Miller – Newtown High School