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StudySync Announces Winners of Blast Out Your Vote! Contest

Posted by Diane Cadogan on November 06, 2016 |

The results are in! Thank you to all the students and teachers who participated in StudySync’s Blast Out Your Vote! Student Writing Contest. StudySync received responses from across the country. Entries were reviewed by the StudySync Curriculum team and contest judges considered adherence to the rubric, overall writing skills, and creativity when evaluating each submission.

StudySync is proud to recognize the following students for their achievement for excellence in writing:

Winning Top Submissions

  • Top Democratic Candidate Submission: Elisabeth Garner, 8th grade, Mitchell Senior Elementary
  • Top Republican Candidate Submission: Kiara Witt, 8th grade, Rio Hondo Elementary
  • Top Creativity Submission: Caitlin Horvath, 7th grade, St. James Academy


Additional Recognitions Awarded

  • Honorable Mention, Middle School - Katie Hiler
  • Honorable Mention, High School -Kaitlyn Bryant 
  • Creativity Honorable Mention -Rafael Amon


To take part in the contest, students were asked to write a 200-500 word argumentative essay citing evidence to answer the question: “If you could vote in the 2016 election, which presidential candidate would you vote for and why?” StudySync is pleased to recognize these award-winning student writers and to encourage all students to diligently research and analyze important issues, then share their voices in both national and global conversations. Read these outstanding student submissions:

Top Democratic Candidate Submission Winner: Elisabeth Garner from Mitchell Senior Elementary

It's that time again. The 2016 presidential election is coming up; it is a time of change for America. Whichever candidate the voters choose will be the person who leads this country to greatness or destruction. But there is one person who I would choose, the one person who I think could make America better. If I could vote for the decider of our nation, I would choose Hillary Clinton because of her experience with world matters and her great ideas that she has for this country.

Hillary Clinton has the experience that the president needs. Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. senate in 2001 ( This experience can be used to make good, sound decisions, not naïve ones. Hillary Clinton also understands the poor state many people in America are in because of not having enough money. Clinton's plan for this is to raise the minimum wage, so that people around America can get enough money to pay for the essential things they need, and she wants to "....improve the healthcare coverage and costs of [Obamacare]..." ( This act could get people the health assistance they need. She even has a plan to make more jobs for America, and since most are traveling overseas, her plan could get more jobs for those who need it. "...experts say Hillary's plan will gain 10M jobs." (OnTheIssues). This shows that Hillary Clinton's plan will succeed.

Immigration is a "hot" topic discussion in America. What should be done about it? Hillary Clinton thinks that there should be a comprehensive immigration reform, so that those who immigrate to America or are already here can gain citizenship efficiently. This is a reasonable plan, right? It is, compared to Donald Trump's plan to " a wall around the Mexico/U.S. border...", according to the Washington Post, and to deport 5 to 6.5 million illegal immigrants. That's not fair to the people who have been settled here, just looking a for a better life. Clinton's plan is reasonable, and allows illegal immigrants already here to gain citizenship.

To Hillary, it seems that the taxing system is unfair. If she is president, she will make people with great sums of money pay their fair share in taxes. She will close the corporate tax loopholes, so taxing will be fair. She also has plans to increase gun control measures, and seeing the things happening in the world, that's a good idea. Even if others don't agree, like Donald Trump, gun control could stop some of the problems that are happening.

As the election nears closer, the pressure truly pushes on the people as they all ask the same question: who will they vote for? It is obvious, though. Hillary Clinton has the experience and the tools to make America greater, and she has reasonable ideas. After all, as she says, her top priority is to keep us safe and defend our values. So as the election comes up I challenge you: who would be make a better president than Hillary Clinton?

Works Cited Editors “Hillary Clinton Biography.” Bio., A&E Television Networks, Accessed Oct. 18.

OnTheIssues Staff/Volunteer Staff “Hillary Clinton on the Issues.” OnTheIssues,  and SpeakOut  Foundation, Accessed Oct.  18.

Zezima, Katie and Callahan, Matthew “Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on the issues.” The Washington Post Published April 15, 2016 Accessed Oct. 18.

Top Republican Candidate Submission Winner: Kiara Witt, Rio Hondo Elementary

Who will you vote for during this year’s presidential elections? Will you vote for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, or the Republican candidate, Donald Trump? There's a lot to consider when selecting a new president, such as their plans for foreign policy, taxes, education, health care, and many more. After looking into some of these, I’ve decided that I would support Donald Trump because of his support of our police officers, defense of our second amendment, and his plans for providing more jobs for Americans.

One thing I like about Trump’s campaign is his view on law enforcement. The violence facing officers today is unbelievable and unacceptable. My dad is a police officer, as were my grandpa and uncle, so I find the issue very important. Trump agrees that police are not currently respected or appreciated enough. “Sure there’ll be a bad apple,” Trump said. “And it ends up on the news for two weeks, and everybody hates the police. The fact is: they do an incredible job” (Trump). I don’t like how Democratic politicians like Clinton blame officers for all the social injustice happening in America’s cities.

I also agree with his plans for lowering taxes to boost our economic growth. Although Clinton has experience having been the Secretary of State, Trump is an experienced businessman. In the first presidential debate, he said, “Under my plan, I will be reducing taxes tremendously from thirty-five percent to fifteen percent for companies, small and big businesses.” He said, “Companies will come, they will build, they will expand, new companies will start and I look very very much forward to doing it” (Trump). It’s true that many Americans are losing their jobs because businesses are moving to other countries, which is why we must lower taxes and regulations in order to bring jobs back.

Lastly, I like that he fights for our Second Amendment. I know there are lots people who have guns who shouldn’t, but eliminating American’s right to bear arms won’t to stop all the criminals who buy them illegally. If anything, I believe that disarming innocent civilians will make them defenseless and vulnerable against such criminals. Trump states, “Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like assault weapons, military-style weapons, and high capacity magazines to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice” (Trump).

Trump is very different from his opponent, as he can sometimes be quite aggressive compared to her more passive-aggressive attitude. I feel that Clinton’s charitable and all- forgiving nature would be taken advantage of if she were to become president. Donald Trump is a strong, confident leader who knows exactly what his goal is and won’t give up until he has reached it. His goal: make America great again, which is why I’d vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.

Works Cited

NPR. "Fact Check: Trump And Clinton Debate For The First Time." NPR. NPR, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 10 Oct. 2016. < presidential-debate>.

"Economy." Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.   <>.

Goff, Jenna, and Joan Greve. "Trump vs. Clinton: Criminal Justice Reform."PBS. PBS, 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. < post/trump-vs-clinton-criminal-justice-reform>.

Goggin, Benjamin. "Trump Vs. Clinton: Where The Candidates Fall On The Most Important Issues." - Digg. N.p., 1 Aug. 2016. Web. 14 Oct. 2016. < hillary-clinton-comparison>.

"2016 Presidential Candidate Positions on 75 Issues - 2016 Presidential Election -" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 28 Sept. 2016. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.

Winning Submission: Creativity - Caitlin Horvath, St. James Academy

If I Could Vote

If I could vote,
Oh I would surely gloat.
Donald versus Hillary, 
Which would give us liberty?

Clinton will raise taxes for the wealthy.
Trump wants to build a big wall.
That to me seems a little unhealthy,
But taxes should be the same for us all.

Trump wants back our stolen jobs,
Clinton wants equal pay for women's work.
I agree job stealing needs to stop.
And that women should be involved in the network!

Oh, if I could vote,
I'd be sailing on a boat,
Of different political views.
Boy, would that be one hectic cruise!

My favorite line of that debate,
Oh, let me tell you it was great!
Trump said, he'll release all of his tax returns,
If Clinton releases her 33,000 emails, burn!

Trump says we need law and order,
He wants to stop people coming in from the border.
Clinton wants the police to use better tactics,
I believe this is gonna take some practice.

Let me tell you if I could vote,
This is what I'd quote:
Both candidates need some work,
Don't they know it's rude to smirk!

Trump says the U.S. should be better at cyber security!
How will the candidates handle other nations’ hostility?
Clinton thinks we need to work closer with our allies!
We can’t have the new president tell us lies!

Trump thinks Hillary doesn’t have the stamina,
She was very mean to Trump on camera.
I strongly believe this criticizing needs to stop!
I don’t know if either are right for the job.

One day, I’ll be able to vote.
Oh, let me tell you what I’d note,
I would decide carefully.
And also very sensibly!

StudySync is proud to foster student conversations about topics that matter. Review the latest student responses from our On the Campaign Trail Blasts Series and be sure to check out the next StudySync opportunity for students to collaborate and share their work in our 2017 MyStudySyncTV Contest!

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