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Rep. Zupkus honors essay contest winners with citation

Posted on April 11, 2022


As we continue to recognize Women’s History Month, I’d like to join Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria and Sen. Jorge Cabrera in congratulating Collin Childs and Ashtyn Genthe, who are sixth-grade students at Long River Middle School in Prospect. They are the winners of our essay contest sponsored by a bi-partisan group of legislators.

The topic for the contest was “How a Connecticut Woman Made a Contribution to the State and/or Nation and How it Influenced Me.”

Collin, who came in first and is pictured below, chose Dr. Emily Barringer, a former New Canaan resident, who was New York City’s first female ambulance surgeon and was recognized as a pioneer for women in medicine. Several women in Collin’s family are part of the medical field.

“My mom was able to become a certified EMT to volunteer in the medical field,” Collin wrote in his essay. “My aunt Christina is a pediatric occupational therapist who earned her degree at Columbia University in New York. And my aunt Autumn is finishing up her degree at the University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute for Chinese Medicine.”

Ashtyn wrote about Katharine Hepburn, a Connecticut native and Academy Award-winning leading lady in Hollywood who passed away in 2003. Hepburn had many of the qualities that were important to her.

“Being your own person, having a strong personality and goals that you strive to meet are very important to being successful,” she wrote. “I have my own style and don’t feel the need to look like everyone else, and I set goals for myself that are hard to achieve and not always easy.”

Collin, his mother, Samantha, and father Torrey, are shown in the picture above, along with Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-105) and Sen. Jorge Cabrera (D-17). Long River’s Principal Derek Muharem is shown on the left. Ashtyn Genthe is pictured at the top of this page with her mom, Jennifer, and father Bill.