ADL was proud to recognize all six student winners, their families and teachers, at the 36th Annual Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program on April 25, 2017. These skilled student writers connected those that exemplified moral courage from the past with their present realities, learning from the lessons that have been left for all of us.
These six students’ essays from Lovell, Wyoming, and Denver and Lafayette, Colorado rose to the top of over 100 essays submitted to ADL’s 2017 Student Essay Contest – A Tribute to Moral Courage: Standing Up Against Injustice . They used the Holocaust as context to better understand moral courage and then chose an individual who demonstrated moral courage from history and how that person’s actions has influenced them today. The winning essays are below and include stories of the past, such as about Irena Sendler and Sojourner Truth, but also of current exemplars of moral courage, such as Malala Yousafzai and the Syrian Civil Defense, otherwise known as the White Helmets.
Students received their awards from ADL Regional Director Scott L. Levin, ADL Board Member Linda Schatz and Deputy Denver Mayor Happy Haynes. For a second year, this student essay contest was generously underwritten by an anonymous donor.
Division I – 7-9th Grade
First Place: Jordan W., 7th Grade, Lovell Middle School, Lovell, WY
Essay Title: The Girl Who Can’t Be Silenced
Second Place: Louisa W., 8th Grade, Girls Athletic Leadership School, Denver, CO
Essay Title: 86 Years of Pure Courage
Third Place: Chloe M., 8th Grade, Girls Athletic Leadership School, Denver, CO
Essay Title: A Light in the Dark
Division II – 10-12th Grade
First Place: Kate B., 11th Grade, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO
Essay Title: Resistance From the Rose
Second Place: Adam K., 11th Grade, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO
Essay Title: Living the Sentiment of Moral Courage
Third Place: Melissa S., 11th Grade, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO
Essay Title: Modern Heroes