Jesse's holiday homework pays off

Essay writer headed for Washington

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
Jesse Drake
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
GOING STATES SIDE: Jesse Drake.

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Jesse Drake's academic year is off to a flying start.

The year 12 Timaru Boys' High School student, who only went back to school yesterday, has won an award and trip to Washington DC for an essay he wrote during his holidays.

The only New Zealander to enter the Gulen Institute Youth Platform competition, Jesse placed fifth out of 550 entries.

He said at the start of the holidays he saw the essay competition and was a "bit bored" so thought he would give it a shot.

"Results came back on Monday and it turned out I got fifth in the world."

Each entrant in the competition had to choose from a list of essay topics focused on how government and non-profit organisations can help students.

Jesse's essay was on bridging the gap between under-achieving students and those that are and diagnosing the problems.

The 15-year-old said he was looking forward to the experience in Washington, meeting new people from around the world, including Congressman Ted Poe.

The top 30 winners from 19 different countries get a sponsored three-day trip to Washington in April for the award ceremony.

Other students in the top 10 were from countries as diverse as Bolivia, Kenya, South Korea, and Nigeria, and five from the US.

They will visit local universities and American think-tank organisation.

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- The Timaru Herald

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