Junior traveling the write way | SteamboatToday.com

Junior traveling the write way

Steamboat highschooler won essay contest, trip to New York

Brent Boyer

Thank goodness for overnight deliveries.

Without them, Steamboat Springs High School junior Justin Krause wouldn’t be headed to New York City today.

With an entry that just made the submission deadline, Krause won the 2004 National High School Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America, or UNA-USA.

The soft-spoken junior is an excellent writer and advanced researcher, according to a panel of judges that picked Krause’s essay as the best in the country.

The UNA-USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages civic participation in important social and economic issues, conducts its annual high school essay contest to inspire students to engage in global issues and the work of the United Nations.

This year’s essay question was, “How should the U.S. balance its national interests with its obligations as a U.N. Member State?” Krause’s essay, titled “From Barrier to Benefit,” discusses how the United Nations, perceived by some as a barrier to U.S. interests, can be used by our government to help achieve those interests.

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Krause, who competes on Littleton High School’s Model United Nations team once a month because there wasn’t enough student interest in Steamboat to form a club here, said international economics and politics are big interests of his.

His six-page essay was selected in February by a panel of Colorado judges as the best essay in the state. Several weeks later, Krause learned his paper was determined to be the best in the country.

“I was just really surprised,” Krause said. “The people who usually win these things (live) on the coasts and go to magnet schools.”

Scott Leslie, UNA-USA’s coordinator for the essay contest, said the national panel of judges, which included Robert Wood, deputy spokesman for the U.S. permanent mission to the United Nations; Barbara Crossette, former U.N. bureau chief for The New York Times; and Linda Fasulo, special correspondent to the United Nations for NBC News and MSNBC, found Krause’s essay to be expertly researched and extremely well-written.

“The research he conducted was at a college level, not what you would expect from a high school student,” Leslie said. “It’s a very impressive achievement.”

About 1,000 essays were submitted for the contest, Leslie estimated.

Krause’s achievement will be recognized Saturday in front of an estimated crowd of 1,000 at U.N. Headquarters in New York. He’ll get to talk for a couple of minutes about his paper in front of the crowd. The trip, part of a prize package that includes $3,000, will be Krause’s first to the Big Apple.

The junior said he’s excited, albeit a little surprised. He was told he won the contest earlier this week and that he’d be flying to New York with his parents today.

But the last-minute notification bodes well with Krause’s essay contest experience. He had to rush to have the completed essay overnighted to Denver to meet the submission deadline.

“Sometimes I work best at the last minute,” Krause said.

— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com