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Posted Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Boonton, Long Hill, Montville Students Honored for Stigma-Free EssaysStudents from Boonton, Long Hill, and Montville were honored last week for their winning essays in the countywide Stigma-Free essay contest run by the Montville and Boonton United Methodist Churches, which are members of the countywide Stigma-Free Initiative.

Winners of the contest are:

  • Junior High Winner: Melody Hart, Homeschooled, Long Hill (Gillette), Grade 8;
  • High School Winner for Primary Essay: Samia Shivon, Boonton High School, Grade 11;
  • High School Winner: Esme Lockwood, Montville High School, Grade 11.

The contest was an initiative of Donald Kirschner, pastor of both the Montville United Methodist Church and Boonton United Methodist Church, and whose congregations sponsored the prize awards.

Take a read of what these terrific young people shared through their writing. Congratulations to these young ladies,

The Morris County Stigma-Free initiative is a countywide effort, including membership by 34 of the county’s 39 towns, and school districts, law enforcement, hospitals, and a host of nonprofit partners. The goal of the initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover from disease.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.