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Mary Bevan
Director, Corporate Communications

High School Students Recognized in Great Americans Day Essay Contest

CTC Foundation Awarded Writers Who Described the Accomplishments of Senator Daniel Inouye

Mattie Updyke, runner up in the Great Americans Day Citizenship Forum Essay Contest, and Marcus Irwin, winner, were recognized at a May 23, 2018, ceremony by CTC President and CEO Ed Sheehan.

Johnstown, PA June 07, 2018

Two Bishop McCort High School 11th grade students not only have a greater understanding of the unique and influential life of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, they also have won prizes in an essay contest designed to reinforce the importance of individual and collective contributions to our country.

Marcus Irwin won first place, and Mattie Updyke was the runner up in the Great Americans Day Citizenship Forum Essay Contest. CTC Foundation, an affiliate of Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), sponsors the essay contest, with cash prizes donated by CTC board member Conway Jones. 

The Essay Contest runs in conjunction with the Great Americans Day Forum, held every year since 1998 at Pitt-Johnstown. The Forum is funded by Howard M. Picking, III, CTC Board of Directors Chairman, and his wife, Adelle C. Picking, with additional funding from the Pitt-Johnstown History Club.

The Forum has featured elected leaders, sports figures, and others who have had a positive impact in the U.S. This year, Navy Captain (Ret.) Dr. Cynthia Izuno Macri was the guest speaker and provided first-hand insight into the significant contributions of Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the first Japanese American to serve in Congress. When he was just a teenager, he volunteered to join the U.S. Army during World War II, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. While his bravery and service cost him his arm, which he lost in combat, Irwin included in his essay that Inouye also showed selflessness during his time in the Senate, writing “…during the Watergate scandal, he questioned high authorities in pursuit of justice for the American people. Then, during the Iran-Contra affair, he went after former national security officials and witnesses…”

The Great Americans Day Citizenship Forum brings together a relevant guest speaker, local high school and college students, and community leaders, to promote the American idea of civic virtue that is central to citizenship and to inspire the young people to do their best to contribute to society.

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