Utah Youths “Do the Write Thing” Students Honored at Youth Anti-Violence Awards Luncheon

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Board of Juvenile Justice (UBJJ) will announce two national finalists and honor 28 Utah middle school students for their written anti-violence entries to Utah’s fifteenth annual Do the Write Thing Challenge as part of the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence. The awards luncheon will be held at the West Jordan Library Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 W.) on April 24, 2015 from 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Student award ceremony starts at approximately 12:20 p.m.

Utah’s two national finalists, 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.

Utah’s “Do the Write Thing” honorees and finalists come from 11 schools and 14 teachers in Cottonwood Heights, Delta, Draper, Herriman, Kanab, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, South Ogden, Spanish Fork and West Jordan. 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 youths, adults, and community members can prevent and interrupt the causes of youth violence and bullying.

School districts reported that more than 2,000 students participated in classroom discussions about youth violence. Nearly 700 chose to submit essays for review. Students from the University of Utah, Weber State University and Salt Lake Community College participated in the first round of judging, selecting the top ninety writings. The UBJJ then selected the top thirteen 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: Mayor Ben McAdams, Juvenile Court Judge Renee Jimenez, Miss Teen Utah Karlie Major, Derek Parra and other prominent members of our community.

“Preventing youth violence starts with us, and we can stop it by reaching out to the bullies and those in need. If we can “nip it in the bud” and reach out a hand to a bully, we can also prevent them from hurting innocent people.” Utah’s 2015 Do the Write Thing Challenge Finalist.

Media: Please call Jo Lynn (801) 538-1031 to attend the Recognition Luncheon at the Viridian Event Center.