Andrew was awarded first place in the junior division (sixth- to eighth-grade) of the 2013 Making Democracy Work contest, earning a prize of $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.
A student at La Entrada Middle School, which will also receive $1,000 and a plaque of recognition, Andrew says he became interested in community service and government as a result of his current events elective and participation in Menlo Park Boy Scout Troop 109.
He will be a freshman at Menlo-Atherton High School when the new school year begins.
Andrew's essay, called "Democracy: Cohesion between People & Government," dealt with the cost of defending the rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens.
"Andrew's essay reflected a deep understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens in our representative form of government," said Ron Sarasin, president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.
The essay was "exceptionally insightful as to what comprises a functioning and effective democracy," said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Menlo Park.