Winter 2016: “Every Girl’s Right” Literary Gems

We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2016 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.

I don’t thirst to learn because I’m surrounded by oceans while they live in a desert.

—Daniel Wu, grade 11, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Springfield, VA


 Being banned from school is like a tree with no roots and lungs with no air.

—Kaliyah Hawkins, grade 8, Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls, Columbus, OH


You are only a period, an apostrophe—upside down—clinging to the end of a life sentence. 

—Shouryaman Sana, grade 10, Independence High School, Frisco, TX


The three teenagers have proven to the global community that women are full of perseverance, courage, and determination.

—Clair Tomari-Leak, grade 8, Minnetonka Middle School East, Minnetrista, MN


A culture that often values trivial entertainment over scholastic endeavors serves as a threat to education, even in a developed country like the United States.

—Sarah DeLoach, grade 11, Hilton Head Preparatory School, Bluffton, SC


Only with education, therefore, am I truly free – freedom means being able to sketch my own personhood, a truly individual identity.

—Hayeon Kim, grade 6, Show and Tell Academy, Seoul, Korea


When hope is taken away from people, it is a story for all of us.

—Emily Weaver, grade 7, Woodward Middle School, Bainbridge Island, WA


Education is a tool to inform minorities about what they deserve, empower people with grounds to speak for their rights, and proclaim to the world that nobody can interfere with the quest for knowledge.

—Gaeun Kim, grade 9, Show and Tell Academy, Seoul, Korea


I think the closest any of us have come to being denied an education is the fact that we’ve been denied the right to an affordable one in our post-secondary years.

—Kaelahn Taylor, college freshman, Lansing Community College, Lansing, MI


We are born in the world to inspire and help people, not to be put into categories and be discriminated against.

—Sersang Yangdon Ngedup, grade 9, Prem Tinsulanonda International School, Chiang Mai, Thailand


We live in a world full of blind mice. A world where nothing becomes viral unless countless people agree.

—Cheney Ramos, grade 9, KIPP School Houston, Houston, TX


It is sad to realize that all over the world, children are longing for the reality that I have been living ever since I started preschool.

—Alea Weeks, college freshman, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR


When 60 million girls are denied an education because of their gender, a grave injustice is being committed.

—Thomas Mecherikunnel, grade 11, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Great Falls, VA


College for me is more than a dream in my head; it’s an option.

—Alison Sockman-Gillis, college freshman, Radford University, Chesapeake, VA

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