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Students Win Top Prizes in Essay Contest

Enlighten America, Achim/Gate City Lodge’s annual Essay Contest for 7th and 8th-grade students, encourages respect and tolerance of our friends’ and neighbors' diverse religious beliefs and racial/cultural backgrounds. The following Woodward Academy students were named winners:

  • Rising ninth-grader Kyle Tie was named the first place winner for his essay, "Stop the Hate." First place winners were awarded a $350 prize.
  • Rising eighth-grader Skylar Robinson was named the first place winner for her essay, "Harmony and Equality." First place winners were awarded a $350 prize.
  • Rising ninth-grader Santoshi Puttagunta was named the second place winner for her essay, "Love Conquers All." Second place winners were awarded a $250 prize.
  • Rising eighth-graders George Sloan and Arun Piyasena tied for third place for their essays, "Hope for Harmony" and "A United Society," respectively. Third place winners received a $100 prize.

The essay contest for Middle School students requires students to reflect on the concepts of tolerance, equality, and respect for all people, as viewed by the founders of our country, while also stressing civic harmony over violence and equality over prejudice. Participants were asked to write about the significance of the contest pledge -- respect for our diversity in race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, and sexual orientation -- by thinking about the issues of bigotry and prejudice, and how such issues have, or have not, been addressed in recent years. 

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