KCMBA Scholarship Essay ( .DOC )
Free State High School senior Kate Falkenstien figured she didn't win.
She didn't get a phone call on Monday about how she stacked up against 35 other Kansas City-area students in a scholarship essay contest.
But three days later, she got something better.
Two representatives of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation surprised her in front of her entire school at Thursday's awards assembly. Amid an ovation from her peers, she was awarded a $5,000 scholarship for her first-place essay on separation of powers in government.
"I think that judicial review is one way that we can stem the rise of presidential power and ensure a balance among the different branches," Falkenstien said.
The firm Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny donated funding for the Constitution Day Essay Contest scholarship.
The topic of the judiciary runs in Falkenstien's family. She is the daughter of Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin and Kurt Falkenstien.
Martin said her daughter has always shown an in-depth understanding and interest in government.
"She's had wonderful teachers, who taught her to write well," Martin said.
Falkenstien is taking classes at KU during her senior year at Free State, but she is still searching for the right fit after graduation.
"It makes it possible for me to continue to look at other colleges, where I might not be able to get aid specifically from the college," she said. "But private scholarships like these can make that a possibility for me."
The presentation was one of many academic awards presented during a school assembly.