The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States announces the regional winners of the 19th annual Public Policy Essay Contest. The contest, open to Anabaptist youth of high school age, required a composition of four to six pages on one of three topics – climate change, mass incarceration and foreign assistance. All three regional winners attend Mennonite high schools, however the contest is open to Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and other Anabaptist youth of high school age and to all youth who attend Mennonite high schools within the United States and Puerto Rico.
Greta Schrag, a sophomore at Iowa Mennonite School in Kalona, Iowa was awarded first place for her essay, "Mass Incarceration: The Discrimination Against People of Color." She received an award of $100. Ashley Fink, a senior at Freeman Academy in Freeman, South Dakota received second place and Rachel Miller, a senior at Freeman Academy, placed third; they received monetary awards of $75 and $50 respectively. Fourth place went to Annie Carlson, a senior at Freeman Academy. All four essays will advance to the national level of the contest.
The judge of the contest was Del Gray, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. He explains, "It was a joy to read these essays. The winning entries were simply outstanding. I would count it a privilege to have those students in my college classes!"
All four essays have been submitted for competition in the national essay contest. The MCC Washington Office will announce winners soon. Through this contest MCC encourages youth to explore the relationship of faith and public policy as well as increase awareness for the advocacy work of MCC’s Washington office.