LIVE VIDEO: WZZM 13 News    Watch
 

Students honored for Rosa Parks-inspired essays

5:57 PM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Detroit Free Press file photo of Rosa Parks

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Saturday, December 1, marks the 57th anniversary of the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat.

The Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee commemorated that moment Friday with a symbolic bus ride to The Rapid's Central Station in Grand Rapids.

At the same event, the Rosa Parks Education Committee announced the winners of a school essay contest. Students were asked to consider a situation from their own lives and explain how they were able to take a stand and do the right thing -- much like Rosa Parks.

"When I was at the lunch table one day, there was a boy sitting alone, and my friends didn't want to sit with him, because they thought he was a freak," says Jennifer Hunt, one of the contest's third place winners. "I decided to sit with him to make him feel good."

The three first place winners of the Rosa Parks essay contest each won $500. Eighteen other students received cash prizes as well.

Rosa Parks was born in 1913, and died in 2005.  On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, she refused to obey a city bus driver's order to give up her seat for a white passenger and move to the bus' "colored" section.  She was arrested for her refusal to move, and the incident led black residents of Montgomery to begin boycotting the city's bus service. 

Parks' appeal of her conviction for disorderly conduct also led to the U.S. Supreme Court finding the segregation policy unconstitutional

Here is the list of the winning students:

High School Winners (11-12 Grade):
A total of 101 qualified essays were received from local high school students, grade 11-12. The judges selected
the following winners:
1st Place Valeria Hernandez Kent City High School
$500 "The Courage to be a Hand""
2nd Place Aleah Holcomb Kent City High School
$300 "Rosa Parks Inspiration"
3rd Place Sierra Lay Kent City High School
$200 "A Fork in the Road"
Honorable Mention High School (11-12 Grade) $50
Mehdi Mohammad Ali School of Health Science Technology
"Moral Dilemma"
Rodney LaGrone School of Health Science Technology
"Spark"
Justin Phillips Kent City High School
"Standing Up for What's Right"
Shelby Roberts Kent City High School
"You Can Change the World"
Kenzie Tyink Kent City High School
"Broken Faith"

High School Winners (9-10 Grade):
A total of 196 qualified essays were received from local high school students, grades 9-10. The judges selected
the following winners:
1st Place Jayna Zimmerman Grand Rapids Montessori High School
$500 "Being A Stand, Channeling My Inner Rosa Parks"
2nd Place Nkatha Mwenda City High/Middle School
$300 "Standing Tall as a Tree"
3rd Place Randi Locke City High/Middle School
$200 "Far From Finished"
Honorable Mention High School (9-10 Grade) $50
Malikah Brown City High/Middle School
"Do Not Cheat"
Emily Cooke Calvin Christian High School
"Standing Strong: Living in My World"
Kaya Henderson City High/Middle School
"Sometimes I Wonder"
Lauren Gibbard Calvin Christian High School
"On the Outside Looking In: A Perspective on Bystanders Afraid to Speak Out"

Middle School Winners:
A total of 286 qualified essays were received from local middle school students. The judges selected
the following winners:
1st Place Emma Pinchak Crestwood Middle School
$500 "And Justice for All"
2nd Place Anna DeBraber City High Middle School
$300 "Drawing the Line"
3rd Place Jennifer Hunt Northview Crossroads Middle School
$200 "Rosa's My Role-Model"
Honorable Mention Middle School $50
Violet Butts City High/Middle School
"Standing Up for What I Believe"
Claire Den Braber St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
"Rosa Parks: The Butterfly of the Civil Rights Movement"
Ciara Jimenez Southwest Community Campus
"The Unknown Legacy"
John Lown St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
"Life as a Model for Others"
Finn Perdue St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
"Standing Up for What is Right"
Regan Vander Tuin St. Stephen School
"What Would Rosa Parks Do?"
Sara Vruggink St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
"Small Steps Towards Standing Tall"

Most Viewed Articles

Most Watched Videos