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Lyndon Institute Senior Places First in School Choice Essay Contest

Lyndon Institute
There are a variety of school choice options available for many of the 122,000 children living in Vermont. Families in Vermont can choose from traditional public schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.
Vermont recently celebrated National School Choice Week with 58 events and activities across the state. Governor Philip Scott issued an official proclamation recognizing January 20-26, 2019 as Vermont School Choice Week.
The Week featured 58 events and activities across the Green Mountain State, including open house events at schools, school fairs, homeschool information sessions, and other celebrations. One of the largest events in the state was a rally at the Capitol Theater in Montpelier followed by a school choice celebration at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier.  In addition to the area celebrations, an essay contest was held for high school students providing the opportunity for them to share personal stories about school choice. 

Abigail Ham, a Lyndon Institute senior, took first place in the Individual Student category for her essay honoring National School Choice Week.  She read her essay to members of the Education Committee on Monday, March 20th at the State House in Montpelier. The award was $1,500.

“I was home-schooled and transitioned to Lyndon Institute as a freshman and it was a big deal for me. My time at LI has opened a world of possibilities for both now and my future that I could not have foreseen,” said Ham.
Her winning essay described how she enrolled at LI seeking classes and experiences that her parents could not provide her.  These included traveling to China, studying four languages, studio art, dance, welding, Advanced Placement® classes, playing in the band, earning college credit through Northern Vermont University, running track, cheerleading, performing and producing choreography for the theater company, writing for the school newspaper, and competing with the Certamen (Latin) Team at Harvard and Yale.
She added that her educational experience was enhanced with friendships she formed by being immersed in a learning environment with students from around the world.  “Forming close connections with peers like them not only exposed me to a broader understanding of world politics, religion and curiosity, it also formed friendships that will last beyond high school, making us globally connected and conscious people before we graduate.”

“Vermont has some of America’s longest-running school choice programs and policies, and we encourage Vermont families to discover these education options during National School Choice Week,” said National School Choice Week President Andrew Campanella.   
Abigail is the daughter of Patrick and Sarah Ham of Sheffield. She has been accepted to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan to study Classical Studies and Pre-Medicine.
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