Students from Shaker High, Schenectady High and Albany High won the top prizes in an annual essay contest sponsored by the Albany-Tula Alliance. Tula is the Capital Region’s sister city in Russia.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State, students were asked to compare the women’s rights movements in the United States and Russia over the past 150 years.
First place winner Samantha Vatalaro from Shaker High traced the efforts of two “formerly well-behaved women” in the U.S. and Russia (Alice Paul and Alexandra Kollontai) who “led the charge for equality and suffrage by turning away from what might have been consider ‘proper’ and instead focusing on what was right.” Samantha won a prize of $1,000.
The second place winner, collecting a $500 prize, is Kerensa Hughes from Schenectady High. Her essay is titled, “Women in Science: a comparative essay of the Soviet Union and the United States.” She describes the effect of two early women in space had in their respective countries, not only in behalf of science but also in politics and inspiring girls to enter science.
Third place winner is Adam Aleksic from Albany High who was awarded $250. He approached the topic from an unusual angle in his essay entitled “Sexism in Chess in Russia and America.”
The winners received their awards at a ceremony at the Fort Orange Club in Albany Thursday evening, May 11, 2017.
To watch the videos, go to the ATA YouTube Channel.