Sophomore Julia Broomer wins Freedom Prize Essay Contest


Credit: Courtesy of Julia Broomer

Above is the certificate that Julia Broomer was awarded. She was given the certificate for winning 1st place in the Freedom Prize Essay contest. “The Freedom Prize paper is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to express their own opinions on important historical and current issues,” Broomer said.

Olivia Waldron and Brian Cohen

Sophomore Julia Broomer has been named the winner of the Freedom Prize Essay Contest. Her paper addressed the question, “Should the United States commit ‘boots on the ground’ to combat ISIS?” Broomer was presented with the prize during the Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30.

The Freedom Prize Paper contest started in January when all WHS sophomores in Old World New World History began writing papers on various constitutional or controversial topics ranging from the death penalty to overcrowding in federal prisons.

“After I was assigned the topic I did some basic research to get a preliminary sense of who and what ISIS is and what they’re all about. I honestly didn’t know much aside from what I’d seen in the news,” Broomer said. “When it came to answering the question of boots on the ground, I wanted to see different points of view before I eventually formed by own opinion.”

Broomer chose her topic because of her interest in international relations and current events.

“The issue of ISIS is so prevalent right now that it seemed like a great opportunity to go more in depth on such an important foreign issue,” Broomer said.

In March, teachers began to select finalists from each of their classes to be entered into the contest. Finalists included Julia Broomer, Oliver Moody, Naomi Lathan, Janani Gandhi, Kyra Patterson, Marjorie Ladas and Joe Lyons.

Broomer’s essay was submitted to the Wayland Historical Society as a finalist by history teacher Sean Chase. Chase selected Broomer’s essay over those submitted by her classmates to be a finalist.

“There were so many strong papers this year. I was genuinely concerned due to the amount of great papers that I felt if [Broomer’s] paper didn’t win there were three or four other papers in my class that could have won, ” Chase said.

“What set Julia apart was that her paper was well written. The topic she chose is relevant it’s in the news right now-it has meaning,” Chase said.

At the Memorial Day Parade, Broomer was awarded with a $500 check after getting recognized for essay.

Broomer plans on saving the money she won in the bank. As far as tips for future years, Broomer tells aspiring students to pick a topic they are truly interested in.

“The Freedom Prize paper is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to express their own opinions on important historical and current issues. It makes the whole process much more enjoyable if you can research a topic you’re passionate about,” Broomer said.