Montgomery Catholic Senior Wins Multiple Major Essay Contests

Montgomery Catholic senior, Wilson Samuels, was announced as the winner of the Exchange Club’s Youth of the Year Essay Contest and the Jewish Federation of Central Alabama’s Holocaust Essay Contest.

Samuels’ Youth of the Year winning essay, “Breaking the Cycle”, details the increased emphasis on diversity impacting American youths.

“Accepting what is, is the attitude that leads to stereotypes, prejudices, and racism,” Samuels said as she emphasized Martin Luther King Jr.’s pursuit of respect for all human persons. She continued by providing three concrete areas in which we can grow as people and follow the footsteps of King Jr.: creating dialogue, reflecting inward, and learning from the past.

She won this essay contest on the local level and is moving on as a finalist to be selected to go to Mobile for a chance to win $1,000.

Samuels also won the Jewish Federation of Central Alabama’s Holocaust Essay Contest. In her essay, “The Influence of Toxicity”, she recalls the factors that led to the Holocaust and how we can prevent such catastrophic events from happening again.

“Instead of dwelling, we need to ask ourselves what we can learn and what we can do to change our future,” Samuels said in her essay. “The simplest thing I can say to that is to change our hearts,” she continued.

Writing has always been an important part of Samuels’ life, and she loves the opportunity to share her passion with others. She had this to say when asked about why she entered these contests.

“I find writing as one of my outlets to express myself, especially on topics that we need to think more about as a society. For both of these, I will admit, I did not have to do much research because I find the issues incredibly pertinent in our world today. I entered these essay competitions because I knew I could highlight the topics well and hopefully open someone else’s eyes through my words.”

Samuels hopes to continue impacting people through her written words as she moves on to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering at Tuskegee University.

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