Join us in congratulating Leehi Yona of Montreal, Canada, and Claire Devine of Tigard, Oregon, the winners of The Nation’s 10th Student Writing Contest!

More than 650 submissions poured in from high-school and college students in 42 states, all answering the question, What do you think is the central issue for your generation in Election 2016? We chose one college winner, one high-school winner, and 10 finalists.

Yona, a recent graduate of Dartmouth College who spent her final year in school as a Stamps Scholar developing interdisciplinary solutions to climate change, wrote about what it feels like to pursue a career studying climate catastrophe.

Devine, a junior at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR, used the personal experience of working at an aid shelter in Nogales, Mexico to inform her case for redefining what immigration means in the United States.

The winners each receive $1,000; finalists receive $250 each. All receive lifetime Nation subscriptions. Yona and Devine’s essays will be excerpted in an upcoming issue of The Nation; all winners and finalists will be published at StudentNation.

Many thanks to our applicants and the many people, especially educators, who encouraged their participation. A very special thanks to the Puffin Foundation, whose generosity makes this contest possible.

The winners will be excerpted in an upcoming issue of The Nation magazine and all winners and finalists will be published at

College: Leehi Yona, Dartmouth College
High School: Claire Devine, Jesuit High School, Portland, Oregon

College Finalists:
Megan Cole, University of California, Irvine
Patrick Flynn, Villanova University
Jesse Ortiz, Bowdoin College
Brock Parent, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
KD Wilson, Muhlenberg College

High School Finalists:
Sophya Giudici-Juarez, Miami Arts Charter School, N. Miami Beach, Florida
Kevin Haller, St. Edward High School, Lakewood, Ohio
Charles Leng, Northview High School, Johns Creek, Georgia
Faiza Nublat, Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, New York
Jack Stuart, Londonderry High School, Londonderry, New Hampshire