RELEASE: Treasurer’s Office Of Economic Empowerment Announces Winners Of The “What I Would Do Without The Wage Gap” Essay Contest

June 24, 2015

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg and Treasury’s Office of Economic Empowerment today announced the winners of the “What I Would Do Without the Wage Gap?” Essay Contest. Hiroto Watanabe of the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in South Yarmouth was the grand prize winner alongside four additional finalists. Watanabe addressed Moms and the families they build saying they “Should be the center of any policy that seeks to address poverty and economic justice.”

The contest was open to all Massachusetts students in grades 9-12 and was designed to promote a discussion among high school students regarding the wage gap between genders. Students were asked to think creatively about the long-term impact of the gender wage gap and how it affects women and their families. The winner will have his essay featured on the Massachusetts State Treasury website, and all five finalists will be honored at a lunch with Treasurer Goldberg.

“I’m proud to announce today’s contest winners,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “Wage equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a family issue. And most critically, it is an economic issue that affects the health and well-being of our entire state. I am thoroughly impressed by the thoughtfulness of the students who participated.” 

The Office of Economic Empowerment is a division of Massachusetts State Treasury tasked with supporting and facilitating policies that empower all Massachusetts residents. Established by Treasurer Goldberg when she came to office last January, it aims to provide convenient access to financial literacy for students, provide innovative solutions to make college affordable, and close the skills gap by training students for 21st Century jobs.

2015 "What Would I Do Without the Wage Gap?" Essay Contest Winner

Hiroto Watanabe
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, South Yarmouth

2015 "What Would I Do Without the Wage Gap?" Essay Contest Finalists

Zachary Podedworny
Bartlett Junior Senior High School, Webster

Daebreon Henry
Apponequet Regional High School, Lakeville

Emily Promise
Marblehead High School, Marblehead

José Falcon
Bartlett Junior Senior High School, Webster