Torrington students honored by state senators for essays on proposed legislation [Register Citizen]

May 19, 2014

From left, Wendy Healey, senior vice president of retail and marketing at Torrington Savings Bank, state. Rep. Jay Case, Bryce Coudriet and state Sen. Witkos. (Register Citizen Photo)

Register Citizen

TORRINGTON >> Four local students were honored this week by state representatives for essays on laws they would propose as state lawmakers as part of a writing contest sponsored by a local bank.

State Rep. Jay Case, R-Winchester, state Sen. Clark Chapin, R-New Milford, and state Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, bestowed four sixth graders from the St. Peters/St. Francis School and Torrington Middle School with citations and a special prize during a ceremony at Torrington Public Library on Wednesday, according to a release. The essay contest was sponsored by the Torrington Savings Bank.

The winners were Bryce Coudriet of St. Peters/St. Francis and Adriel Camacho of TMS. The runners-up were Brandon Sykes of St. Peters/St. Francis and David Chmielewski of TMS.

Witkos said the work created by the adolescents is inspiring.

“They each share very important messages powerfully and poignantly,” Witkos said. “I was blown away by what I heard. These young writers clearly have very successful futures ahead of them.”

The essays written by Camacho and Coudriet were well-written rose above the rest, Case said.

“Their work explains leadership and what it takes to lead,” Case said. “Their futures are bright and I hope they reach for the stars.”

The prompt for the essay was, “If you were a CT Lawmaker, what bill would you propose and why?”

According to the release, Coudriet’s essay proposed a law that would prohibit adults from smoking in a car with children under 18 and provide research.

Camacho’s law was inspired by the Newtown tragedy, suggesting a law that would allow teachers with permits to carry pistols in school. This included an implementation program with training for teachers.

Prohibiting adults under the influence of alcohol from being in the presence of children is the law Sykes proposed, while Chmielewski proposed changing the state’s self-defense law to eliminate duty to retreat before using deadly force.

Chapin, who was unable to attend the award ceremony, said he was sincerely impressed by the writing of the winning students.

“They all surely have promising futures with their creative and bright minds. Torrington should be very proud,” Chapin said.

The Torrington Savings Bank awarded the top writers with their own bank accounts, with $50 for the runners-up and $100 for the winning writers. The students read their essays during the ceremony.

Senior Vice President of Retail and Marketing at TSB Wendy Healey said she was proud to donate the prizes for the essay contest.

“Providing incentives for youth to be involved throughout excellent writing certainly fits that mission,” Healey said. “Congratulations to the winners and runners up on their achievements.”