Contest grows to include more than 2,500 students from Chagrin Falls, Kenston, Orange and Newbury high schools.
For the second year, business and government leaders, students, teachers and parents will come together to tackle a critical problem facing our nation’s teens. High school students from Chagrin Falls, Kenston, Orange and Newbury will be given a voice and the power to solve, through an essay, the problem of texting and driving through the “We Solve Problems Essay Contest.”
Created by the Gertsburg Law Firm and The Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, students’ 600-word essays will be judged by business and government leaders. Finalists will receive cash awards or scholarships and the school with the winning essay will be rewarded.
“We are honored to be continuing the ‘We Solve Problems Essay Contest’,” said Alex Gertsburg, head of the Gertsburg Law Firm. “As members of the Chagrin Valley community, our firm is committed to helping mentor and educate our young future leaders. Harnessing the power of business and political leaders towards that goal, and helping to solve real-world problems like texting and driving, are innovative ways to accomplish that goal, and we feel very strong about doing our part in all of those areas.”
The inaugural “We Solve Problems Essay Contest” featured essays from 734 students from Chagrin Falls and Kenston High Schools addressing the issue of cyberbullying. More than 200 business, government and community leaders judged the students’ essays with a total of $10,000 in prize money awarded to finalists and the participating schools. This year’s contest also will include students from Orange and Newbury High Schools.
“The essay contest is an important community effort because it only not only pushes our students to think about the issues that affect us all but it also encourages them to propose realistic solutions to those problems, some of which will become reality after the contest itself is over,” said Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline.com and a judge of the “We Solve Problems Essay Contest.”
The success of the contest relies on judges – business, government and community leaders – who will read 5-10 essays over a one-week period in February 2017. “It was powerful to see how the Chagrin Valley business community rallied around this contest,” said Molly Gebler, executive director of the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, reflecting upon the inaugural contest. “We are thrilled to be expanding the contest this year to include the Orange and Newbury school communities and look to our business and government leaders to continue to support this innovative learning experience.”
It also relies on generous donations from the community and businesses. This year, the Gertsburg Law Firm formed a non-profit corporation, We Solve Problems, Inc., making the donations tax-deductible to donors. The firm also is matching donations dollar-for-dollar (up to $375) in legal services to anyone who donates. Last year, numerous businesses and individuals received free estate plans, contract reviews and credits towards litigation from the firm for their donations.
The contest is open to high school students from Chagrin Falls, Kenston, Orange and Newbury. Students will submit essays in February 2017 with winners announced the following month.
Additional information about the contest, including how to become a judge or sponsor, can be found at The Gertsburg Law Firm.
About the Gertsburg Law Firm
The Gertsburg Law Firm is changing the character of the attorney-client relationship in business from a cost-center to a trusted advisor. Drawing from their complex litigation experiences as members of large law firms, in-house counsel and federal attorneys, the Gertsburg Law Firm’s award-winning attorneys provide clients the benefit of business lawyers with real life business experience in a wide variety of industries. This dynamic results in a comprehensive and innovative approach to business law that is proactive and consultative, ultimately saving clients money in fees and exposure before issues arise. Located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, the Gertsburg team of lawyers and support staff leverages its knowledge, broad experience and steadfast dedication to both solving and avoiding clients’ business problems, and helping them actually grow their businesses in a way that no other law firm does.
About the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce
More than 500 members strong, the Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce offers an array of programs to help area business owners improve their bottom line. Serving 13 communities in the Chagrin Valley, the Chamber serves as a powerful regional force: encouraging business to relocate to the Chagrin Valley; presenting the interests of business and industry before local and state governments; supporting the cultural and civic life of the communities; and, working to make the Valley a better place to live and do business.
Pictured In Photo: Alex Gertsburg, Gertsburg Law Firm and Molly Gebler, Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce