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April 26, 2013, 11:30-1:00 at the Viridian West Jordan Library & Event Center.

SALT LAKE CITY —"Inside us all is fear, pain, and personal experiences. The perfect way knows no difficulties. Only when freed from hate and evil, does love reveal itself fully and without disguise." Kenya Ellsworth, finalist in Utah’s 2013 Do the Write Thing Challenge

Friday, April 26, 2013, 11:30-1:00: Lt. Governor Greg Bell and the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice (UBJJ) will honor 12 Utah middle school students for their written anti-violence entries to Utah’s Thirteenth Annual Do the Write Thing Challenge as part of the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence. The awards luncheon will be held at the Viridian West Jordan Library & Event Center (8030 S. 1825 W.).

Utah’s "Do the Write Thing" Finalists are:
Abby Hall, Crescent View Middle School
Ashley Ricks, Fort Herriman Middle School
Benjamin Butcher, Treasure Mountain Middle School
Chandler Wakefield, Midvale Middle School
Kayla Hebertson, Fort Herriman Middle School
Kenya Ellsworth, South Ogden Junior High
Lindsie Olson, Desert Hills Middle School
Mason Edwards, Crescent View Middle School
Mikayla Weichers, Fort Herriman Middle School
Noah Staheli, Desert Hills Middle School
Timothy Hui, Midvale Middle School
Tyler Hill, Crescent View Middle School
(Representing 6 Schools and 10 teacher throughout the state)

Sponsored by the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice the Do the Write Thing Challenge plays a key role in Utah’s long-term strategy to end youth violence. These 7th and 8th grade student writings make powerful proposals on how adults and community members can prevent and interrupt the causes of youth violence and bullying.

School districts reported that more than 3,400 students participated in classroom discussions about youth violence. More than 1,700 chose to submit essays for review. Students from the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University and Utah Valley University, participated in the first round of judging, selecting the top ninety-one writings. The Utah Board of Juvenile Justice then selected the top twelve finalists, whose work was forwarded to Utah’s VIP Judges for scoring. The VIP Judges had the difficult task of selecting a boy and girl national finalist along with runners up. VIP Judges included: Chief Chris Burbank, Hope Woodside, Mayor Ben McAdams, Miss Utah Kara Arnold, and other prominent members of our community.

Utah’s top two writers, along with other nationwide finalists, will be recognized by the National Campaign to Stop Violence at the Do the Write Thing National Recognition Ceremony in Washington, D.C. this July. They will meet with Utah’s members of Congress to discuss the problem of youth violence and attend a reception hosted by the Ambassador to the United States for the State of Kuwait. A book containing the students’ writings will be placed in the Library of Congress.

Media: Please call Jo Lynn (801) 538-1052 to attend the Recognition Luncheon at the Viridian Event Center

Contact: Reg Garff
Juvenile Justice Specialist
(801) 538-1372
Email: rgarff@utah.gov

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