HARTFORD—In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced on Monday the 15 winners of his fifth annual ‘Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Contest.’ This year, Murphy received close to 2,800 entries from elementary, middle, and high school students from across Connecticut reflecting on Dr. King’s dream and their own aspirations. 

“The events of the past year have laid bare the mass inequities in our country and, as we reflect on Dr. King’s dream for justice and equality in America, it is clear we still have a way to go,” said Murphy. “The essays submitted by students across Connecticut continue to give me hope. I’m certain that if these students continue to stay engaged in their community and reject the sins of our past, we’ll realize Dr. King’s dream sooner rather than later.”

The winning essays and pictures can be viewed below. Click on each student’s name to download his or her essay.

1st Congressional District Winners:

·       Henry Adade, South Windsor, Pleasant Valley Elementary

·       Cole Leavitt, Cromwell, Cromwell Middle School

·       Ayana Perez, Hartford, Al Prince Technical High School

2nd Congressional District Winners:

·       Cierra Bass, Groton, Robert E. Fitch Senior High School

·       Ella DeVito, Waterford, Oswegatchie Elementary School

·       Kayla Lin, Mansfield, Mansfield Middle School

3rd Congressional District Winners:

·       Brianna, Derby, Derby Middle School

·       Aanya Kumar, Wallingford, Parker Farms Elementary School

·       Aliya Prosser, Milford, Joseph A. Foran High School

4th Congressional District Winners:

·       Krish Bande, Stamford, Davenport Ridge Elementary School

·       Yurika Sakai, Greenwich, Greenwich High School

·       Hudson Zentz, Trumbull, Madison Middle School

5th Congressional District Winners:

·       Emma Burroughs, Meriden, Washington Middle School

·       Malaysia Gonzalez, Waterbury, Wallace Middle School

·       Samhita Shirsat, Brookfield, Brookfield High School