Junior Wins New York Times Student Editorial Contest

Nora Fellas ’20 has some advice for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

And so, she detailed her suggestions to them — focusing on how they can appeal to young, first-time voters — in a persuasive essay for The New York Times’ Sixth-Annual Student Editorial Contest. Her essay, “Lessons For the 2020 Democratic Candidates From a Soon-To-Be First-Time Voter,” is one of the 12 essays that won the contest out of more than 10,500 submissions.

“I was really shocked,” Fellas said about winning the contest. “I wasn’t expecting this to happen.” She has been doing an independent study with Ms. Cowhey this year, and Ms. Cowhey encouraged her to submit an essay. “I’m very interested in politics,” Fellas said, and so it was natural that her essay would focus on that topic. And, with her experience running a political blog that currently has 128,000 followers, she felt confident that she could offer the Democratic politicians some helpful advice on appealing to young voters, since, Fellas explained, “I get a lot of opinions from people and see what type of posts people like and don’t like.”

Regarding her essay topic, Fellas said: “I think a lot of politicians try to appeal to the youth in weird ways,” noting that a number of recent outreach attempts by current Democratic candidates fell flat with the intended audience. And so what is her advice to the candidates? “Treat young people like real people.” And, “Focus on your issues, and you will inspire the youth to do the campaigning for you on social media.”

The article was recently published in Tower. To read Fellas' essay online, please click here
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