An East Setauket student's essay on the local impact of immigration took the top spot in an annual contest coordinated by Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies.
Emily Pashinsky, a sophomore at Ward Melville High School, won a $3,000 college scholarship for taking first place in the "Celebration of Suburban Diversity" 2014 Student Essay Contest.
Her three-page essay described the various positive impacts -- from economic to cultural -- that immigration has had on Long Island.
"To me, immigration is much more than taking up a permanent residence; it's about acceptance, knowledge, and becoming unified," Pashinsky, 15, wrote in her essay. Of winning, she said: "It's very important to me and means a lot. It's motivational."
She was recognized at an awards banquet this month at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Essays were reviewed by a panel of judges and evaluated based on their content, creativity and organization. The contest was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
Pashinsky is a member of her school's National Junior Honor Society, Foreign Language Junior Honor Society and Ceramics Club.