Wiltonian named Kids Court runner-up

Wiltonian Olivia Phelan was named a runner-up in this year’s Oral Kids Court Competition at the State Capitol in Hartford, on June 9.
Sponsored by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), the event concluded a month-long essay contest where students selected one of the following topics to analyze:

  • Standing Out: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

  • Cool Kids: The Social Cost of Social Media.

  • Safe and Sound: My Neighborhood, My School.

  • You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea: The Hidden Challenges of Living with a Disability.

  • All About That Bass: How Does Popular Culture Influence Women’s Rights?

Participants were divided into two groups — Division A for grades 9-12 and Division B for grades 6-8 — and the five students with the highest scoring papers in each division went on to compete for prizes in the oral competition.
Olivia, who was in Division A, wrote her essay on the cost of social media on youth, arguing that “the pseudo-reality and increased self-absorption created by social media leaves teens feeling isolated ... more superficial, competitive and less social creatures.”
Olivia and five other Division A finalists presented their essays and answered questions from a panel of judges, who judged the finalists on:

  • Their understanding of the topic question about which they chose to write.

  • The consistency and persuasiveness of their argument.

  • Their understanding of civil rights.

  • The creativity exhibited in their argument.

  • Their poise and responsiveness to the judges’ questions.

As a runner up this year, Olivia received CHRO paraphernalia and a certificate from the State of Connecticut.
Olivia also participated in the competition last year, coming in first on the strength of her essay on the “Ban the Bossy” campaign. She received a proclamation from the governor’s office, a citation from the legislature, a plaque and $350.
Click here  to learn more about Kids Court.