For the first-ever #LoCoolGov Youth Scholarship Contest, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) put out a call to students to submit an essay, poem, photo, video, painting, multimedia project, or any other medium they liked, including three dimensional, that paints a vivid picture of what makes local government cool.

Jeremy Queiroz, an eighth grader at East Shore Middle School, was one of the two winners, honored for his submission: a painting titled, “Local Governments Help.”

All entries were due by the end of October and a panel of impartial judges determined the winners. The winners were awarded a $500 scholarship that was presented at CCM’s Annual Meeting & Dinner during the CCM Convention on Nov. 28, along with an overnight stay at Foxwoods Resort for the winners and their parents that evening.

“High school and middle school students across Connecticut told us in their most creative way what is cool about local government,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “The future of government ─ local, state, and federal ─ lies in today’s students. We want to help inspire intrigue and civic engagement in local government by offering an opportunity for CCM to hear from the voices of Connecticut students about what they think is cool about their own Connecticut municipal government.”

The contest was open to all students attending the municipality’s public middle and high schools. Participants needed to create their own original work themselves, but could get help from teachers, parents or friends in the form of ideas. They could collaborate with peers and submit group projects of no more than three people.

The CCM awards committee chose the winners based on the following: closeness to the theme, originality, and creativity.

Jeremy was also recognized for the honor at Monday night's Board of Education meeting.