Announcing the 2017 Peace Essay Contest Winners

            More than 560 students from across Virginia entered this year’s Peace Essay Contest.  Many of the entries were excellent, and selecting the winners was difficult. Our team of about thirty volunteer judges met in mid-May to tackle the task.

            This year’s writing prompt asked students to consider the theme: Many Peopleā€¦One Nation. How can we build understanding and respect for one another among people of different heritages and beliefs?

            The prompt asked students to write about what they could do to help build a community from people of many different backgrounds. What can we do together in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our nation to help build respect and understanding among all who live in our country? 

Here are this year’s winners:

Primary grades K-2:
Marya Khan, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy, Reston VA
2nd: Aizah Khan, , gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy, Reston VA
3rd (tie): Insha Memon, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy

3rd (tie): Fatimah Ahmed, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy
Honorable Mentions:

  •             Liyaanuh Ahmad, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy
  •             Hanaya Hussain, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy;
  •             Arjan Jumani, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy
  •             Mansoor Muhadidi, gr. 2, Al Fatih Academy

Elementary grades 3-5:

1st: Apoorva Saurav, gr. 4, Twin Hickory E.S., Henrico VA

2nd (tie): Zora Gray, gr. 5, Homeschooled, Ashland VA

2nd (tie): Emma Schlussler, gr. 4, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond VA

Honorable Mentions:

  • Tanish Singh, gr. 4, Twin Hickory E.S., Henrico VA
  • Sowmya Narra, gr. 5, Short Pump E.S., Henrico VA
  • Caden Grayson, gr. 4, Grace and Hope Academy, Petersburg VA
  • Abhinav Tadinada, gr. 4, Colonial Trail E.S., Henrico VA
  • Jacob Schenkein, gr. 4, Twin Hickory E.S., Henrico VA

Middle grades 6-8:
Khadijah Ahmad, gr. 6, Al Fatih Academy, Reston VA

2nd: Anaya Surve, gr. 8, Moody M.S., Henrico VA

3rd (tie): Ann-Sidney Ragsdale, gr. 6, St. Edward’s-Epiphany School, Richmond VA

3rd (tie): Perisa Ashar, gr. 8, Moody M.S., Henrico VA

Honorable Mentions:

  •             Adelina Doyle, gr. 7, Moody M.S., Henrico VA
  •             Fatimah Durrani, , gr. 6, Al Fatih Academy
  •             Evans Chun, gr. 8, Longfellow M.S., Fairfax Virginia
  •             Brennan Lane, gr. 6, Midlothian M.S., Chesterfield VA
  •             Magnolia Matzen, gr. 6, Matoaca M.S., Chesterfield VA
  •             Lauren Richards, gr. 8, Homeschooled, Richmond VA

High School grades 9-12:

1st: Ellie Vick, gr. 11, The Fuqua School, Farmville VA

2nd: Thomas Cody Howard, gr. 11, The Fuqua School

3rd: Molly Fletcher, gr. 12, Midlothian H.S., Chesterfield VA

Honorable Mentions:

  •             Fiza Bhojani, gr. 10, Henrico H.S., Henrico VA
  •             Camila Ibarra Bernal, gr. 11, The Fuqua School
  •             Ben Loucas, Gr. 10, Atlee H.S., Hanover County VA
  •             Cory Moon, gr. 12, Homeschooled, Powhatan VA
  •             Jhanee Robinson, gr. 10, Open H.S., Richmond VA


            The winning essays are now posted on our website. We encourage you to take the time to read them.

            The Peace Center would like to thank the many volunteers who helped organize and judge this year’s contest, to the teachers and school administrators who encouraged their students to participate, and to the hundreds of young people who took the time to think and write about an issue that is critical to our time.

            We would also like to express our gratitude the Doherty Family Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia for its longstanding support of this program.