Elevating Moral Courage to Motivate and Inspire – 2021 Essay Winners

  • April 13, 2021

Educators, students and families have endured a school year like no other with the only constant being change. ADL was grateful to have been able to provide a familiar essay contest in 2021 for educators and students, A Tribute to Moral Courage: Standing Up Against Injustice. Students submitted over 150 essays from across our region, researching those that have given us hope in the past and so many individuals that have shown moral courage in the present.  

Students shared their ideas and reflections on these ordinary people, who chose extraordinary actions and inspired so many, such as Alice Nkom, Alicia Garza, Irena Sendler, Marielle Francisco da Silva, Helmut Kleinicke and Alice Paul.  Each writer found a connection between themselves and these morally courageous individuals and we hope will continue to find ways to pass it forward and inspire others.  

Eighteen judges had the challenging task of narrowing down the essays to the six below. ADL was proud to recognize these six student winners during the April 8th Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program, held virtually for a second year. We hope to come together in 2022 and thank all the educators, students and their families for submitting essays and taking the time to elevate moral courage and hope.  

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2021 Student Essay Winners!! 

Division I – 7-9th Grade Winners 

First Place:  Braeleigh M.

Holy Family Catholic School, Grand Junction, CO 

Essay Title: A Light in the Darkness 

Second Place:  Heather K. 

Denver Jewish Day School, Denver, CO 

Essay Title: Defining American Democracy 

Third Place:  Anastasia P. 

Wellington Middle School, Wellington, CO 

Essay Title: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Marielle Francisco da Silva 


Division II – 10-12th Grade Winners 

First Place:  Damaris V. G.

Northglenn High School, Northglenn, CO 

Essay Title: Change in Society 

Second Place: Gianna T. 

Northglenn High School, Northglenn, CO 

Essay Title: Offering a Hand to a Stranger 

Third Place:  Kaylee C. 

Northglenn High School, Northglenn, CO 

Essay Title: Irena Sendler: A Hero in Disguise