The Middletown Press, March 10, 2011

HARTFORD — Hannah Fowler and Emily Spence, both seniors at Coginchaug Regional High School, won the top prizes in an essay contest sponsored by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

Hannah and Emily were joined by their families and their English teacher, Kris Nystrom, at the annual Women’s Day at the Capitol in Hartford where State Representative Matt Lesser (D-Durham, Middlefield and Middletown) presented the Young Women’s Leadership Program Essay Contest awards to the young women.

“I’m so proud of both Hannah and Emily—they are clearly headed for great things,” said Lesser. “I want to thank the Young Women’s Leadership Program for sponsoring the essay contest and for all the work they do inspiring and empowering young women to emerge as leaders. I also want to thank Mr. Nystrom for his commitment to teaching.”

The first-place essay was written by Hannah Fowler of Middlefield who wrote about her Aunt, Susan Lee Fowler, whose “bold attitude, confidence and selflessness” have inspired Hannah to decide to become a nurse practitioner incorporating functional and holistic medicine so she may “enhance the lives of as many people possible.”

Second-place was awarded to Durham’s Emily Spence for her essay about Mirinda Carfrae, who won the 2010 Ironman Kona Hawaii World Championship. Emily wrote that Carfrae inspired her “to stop focusing on who’s better than me and just make the best version of myself.”

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) was established by the State Legislature in 1973. Twenty-one appointed volunteer commissioners join staff and volunteers to work to eliminate sex discrimination in Connecticut.

Original Article