Ava Wehr of Perry Hall High School and Breanna Pompey of Parkville High School were honored as first- and second-place winners respectively in the 34th Annual Champions of Courage Black History Month Essay Competition.
Wehr received a $200 scholarship, and in her honor, Perry Hall High received a $200 award. Pompey was awarded a $150 scholarship, and Parkville High was presented with $150 in her honor. The awards were announced during the broadcast special “Saluting Maryland’s Champions of Courage,” which aired on FOX45, CW Baltimore, and myTV Baltimore on Feb. 21. This was the first year that the awards program was broadcast for public viewing.
The “Champions of Courage” Black History Month Essay Competition challenged area students in Grades 6 through 12 to write a brief essay saluting a personal hero who has shared with them the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 1,000 students submitted essays.
The essays by Wehr and Pompey follow:
First Place – AVA WEHR, Perry Hall High School
In the weeks and days leading up to this year’s election, [Stacey] Abrams helped to register more than 800,000 people in Georgia to vote. She founded and currently leads the organization Fair Fight 2, which works to educate people about voting, combat voter suppression and give every American a say in their government. Abrams has helped many African Americans to overcome the barriers to voting, bringing the nation closer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of equality and fairness.
Second Place – BREANNA POMPEY, Parkville High School
My Champion of Courage is the late Chadwick Boseman. At nine, I sat on the edge of my seat as he swung his bat with an amount of vigor, I didn’t know was possible. At fourteen, I sat proud and mesmerized as I saw the first black superhero in a movie of his own. And at sixteen, I’m dejected and downcast at his passing. Like Dr. King, they both persevered and triumphed through adversity leaving people more empowered and inspired. And to them, I say thank you!