By  BJC Staff Reports

Alyssa Bragg of Colorado Springs, Colorado, won the grand prize in the 2016 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest, sponsored by the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee. This year’s topic asked students to consider whether elected or appointed government officials should be able to opt out of certain aspects of their job because of a closely held religious belief.

The daughter of Phillip and Kandis Bragg, she received a $2,000 scholarship for her essay, titled “Duty Comes First,” and a trip to Washington, D.C. Bragg met the Baptist Joint Committee staff and shared her essay with the board of directors. A 2016 high school graduate, Bragg is now a first-year nursing student at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.

Second place went to Haley Warren of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Ellie Gardiner of Bernalillo, New Mexico, won third place.

Below are excerpts from Bragg’s essay, sharing her personal perspective. For details on the 2017 contest, visit BJConline.org/contest.




From the September/October 2016 edition of Report from the Capital. You can also read the digital version of the magazine or view it as a PDF.