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Ethical Exploration: Apolline's Pivotal Essay Earns Her a Spot Among the Top 5%

Ethical Exploration: Apolline's Pivotal Essay Earns Her a Spot Among the Top 5%
Tanya Olander

Inspired by a fellow student’s success and driven by her passion for writing, Apolline’s exploration of ethics in the Pivotal Essay Contest has earned her a coveted spot in the “Pivotal Circle,” an exclusive group for the top 5% of submissions.

Eager to embark on an intellectual journey, Apolline, inspired by the story of Elsa’s third prize in the prestigious John Locke Essay Competition, quickly engaged with the Pivotal Essay Contest, upon learning about the competition which is run in collaboration with Oxford University's Global Priorities Institute. 

Despite joining a month late and with only four weeks to submit her essay, Apolline’s enthusiasm was undiminished. “I was so excited to find the competition. Understanding the question deeply was my first step,” she says about what she did after choosing the “ethics” category, which focused on the long-term future of humanity. 

A student at SSIS since Kindergarten, Apolline credits her Grade 9 English coursework with building critical analytical skills, crucial to taking on this competition. An avid writer, her daily journaling habit and experience in fiction writing gave her a strong foundation for the open structure of the Pivotal Essay. 

Both Apolline and her mother, Lili, say that the collaborative SSIS community played a significant role - from teachers like Dr. Brown and Mr. Phan, who provided invaluable guidance - to inspiring peers like Elsa. 

Initially, Apolline’s fact-based essay placed her among the top 10% of submissions, but soon after, she received an invitation to join the Pivotal Circle, marking her entry into the top 5% of Pivotal Essay submissions. 

Reflecting on her achievement, Apolline says this was an extraordinary experience. “Being recognized in a global competition for exploring a challenging topic is incredible.” And she’s already planned her next essay competition - the Harvard Crimson Essay Competition which begins February 1.

Apolline’s accomplishment is a beautiful testament to the stimulating and collaborative environment at SSIS, underscored by our Core Values: Academic Excellence, Sense of Self, Respect for All, Balance in Life, and Dedicated Service. Congratulations Apolline!

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