About Miranda Henry: I live in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, and I attend school at Mercyhurst University in Erie,PA. I have a younger brother and a lovable mini-schnauzer. I am a big Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres fan and I like to play tennis. I also enjoy going camping and boating with my family.

Judges' statement

Miranda skillfully met her goals with an outstanding map and a thoughtful essay that detailed how she achieved the metrics she did, while overcoming some mapping challenges. She achieved one of the highest competitive district scores, which aligned with her well-articulated intention.

Personal statement

When I heard about this contest in my government class, it sparked my interest and challenged me to create new districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania. This gave me an opportunity to bring out the creative side of me to help with an important state issue.

In my map, I wanted the competitiveness, contiguity and equal population of all districts to be my priority. Equal population was most important to me because I wanted to balance the population of individuals throughout each district. To ensure fair representation, contiguity was also important to me because I wanted to make sure that I counted each individual within each area. I wanted to ensure that the population of a district would be physically close together and not sprawled throughout the map.

In addition, I was focused on the competitiveness of each district. I wanted to ensure a fair distribution for Democrats and Republicans in each district to avoid establishing a political advantage for one party.

While creating my map, I ran into a couple of challenges. One challenge that I ran into was trying to keep the population of each district within the target population range. There were times where I had to redraw my lines multiple times to try to fall close to the target population of 747,199. In order to control it, I made some districts lower than the target population and some higher to balance the population out.