AAUW awards Canajoharie and Northville graduates

JOHNSTOWN — The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) announces the winners of the 2018 AAUW Dorothy Wemple Literary Award.

The first place award of $500 went to Samantha Field from Canajoharie High School. The second place award of $300 was received by Northville High School graduate, Hannah Coupas.

Those entering the contest wrote an essay answering the question, “If you were to choose to become an activist like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, what field would you choose and why?”

Applicants expressed a variety of interests. The essays were well written and illustrated how many were already active in their chosen field. The essays were not judged by the field chosen but rather on the thought process and English usage.

First place winner, Samantha Field from Canajoharie High School chose school shootings and safety. Not only did she organize a peaceful walkout to commemorate the 17 students killed in Florida recently, but she has also has spoken several times at Board of Education meetings about school safety, and helped approve a school resource officer.

Hannah Coupas, from Northville High School chose Right to Life, and has been attending the March for Life in Washington D.C. since the age of 13.

Other student essays submitted concerned organ donation, women’s health, opioid abuse, global warming, cruelty to animals, freedom of choice and the internet of things.

The contest is open to students in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties. The AAUW Literary Award is given annually in memory of Dorothy Anderson Wemple who was a member of AAUW for over 50 years and a member of the local AAUW branch since its inception in 1967. Wemple, who died in 2007, was an English teacher at Knox Junior High School in Johnstown and was a past judge for the essay contest which began in 1991. Jahnn Gibson and Linda Hammond served as chairs of the AAUW High School Literary Award. Readers included Gibson, Paula Lerner, and Laurie Kozakiewicz.

AAUW is an organization of college graduates whose mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.