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September 20, 2020
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Credo Kaplan-Kinsey semi-finalist

By: Irene Hilsendager
September 27, 2019

Esme Kaplan-Kinsey was born in Petaluma and now resides in Petaluma with her parents Rachel Kaplan and Adam Kinsey but attends Credo High School in Rohnert Park.

She entered the National Merit Semi-Finalist on a lark by just checking a box and hoping for the best.

Esme’s accomplishments fill a very long list. She is a two-time finalist at Youth Speaks Grand Slam Finals, volunteers as a youth poetry slam judge and has performed at slam poetry rallies for Congressman Mike Thompson on gun violence awareness.

Kaplan-Kinsey has taken night writing classes at Santa Rosa Junior College as she wanted to learn more about creative writing. She was the founder of Credo Creative Writing Club, has three regional Scholastic awards, is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Credo High Literary Magazine and has had two pieces published in Blue Marble Review.

Esme hasn’t been too involved in community theater but has participated in shows in middle school. In 2018 she was Credo’s Student of the year and has won department awards in 2019. She has been taking violin since the age of six, singing lessons since age eight and is a performer in the bi-annual concert at school. She has co-organized gun violence awareness week and is in the top 10 of her class. 

When asked to describe herself she said she was intelligent, creative, passionate and willing to work hard at things she cares about. Which brings her to a college choice. Mentioning Brown and Barnard, she said, “I think Brown is a good fit for me because it is interested in kids who are creative and able to tell a good story in addition to being academically motivated. And what would she major in? Anthropology but is uncertain. 

Esme said she is not super strong in physical sciences but is an excellent writer and will do well in most humanities classes. I will go above and beyond to learn more about it if I am interested in something.

Kaplan-Kensey is a DoorDash driver, which means that she drives to restaurants, picks up food and delivers it to people’s homes.