Dear Writers of Lenana Girls’ High School,

You submitted thoughtful, important essays about the effects of covid on your communities. I was impressed with the way you made clear, specific points and described each one. I have a better understanding of the challenges you faced and admire you for the way you dealt with them, making smart, safe decisions, and not giving up on your education! The discipline you showed throughout the pandemic and the effort you put into your essays tell me that you can achieve your goals and a purposeful life.

I have to say, winning or the idea of achieving perfection should never be your measure for success. Does perfection even exist in our world? The best measure of your writing is how much you’ve learned about yourself and life, how much you’ve grown as a writer, and how much you’ve expanded the hearts and minds of others. Writing is exciting because you can always strive to say more and say it better. It is a never-ending opportunity to learn, to think more deeply, to share who you are, and to help others learn, think, and reflect, too!

We always pull a quote from each essay to share. As is our tradition, your teacher reads each quote out loud for you to try and recognize your own writing voice. It’s a fun game but also allows you to hear the unique power in your own words!

Congratulations to our two First Place winners, Glorian and Moraa, whose essays are included in this post, and to our five Second Place winners: Nancy, Martha, Nasirian, Ruth, and Emmaculate. We’re so proud of you all!!