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June 2012
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Guess finalist in international essay contest

Staff report

Morgan Guess, a student at Lone Oak Middle School, is one of 16 finalists in the 2017 Facing History and Ourselves Student Essay Contest.

Her essay was selected from over 5,000 submissions. Guess can win up to $5,000 in scholarship money along with a cash prize for her school. As a peer tutor, she selected the Multiple Disabilities Classroom for those funds.

Winners are selected from public voting at http://contest.facinghistory.org/choices/voting/. The public can vote once a day through noon Friday, April 21.

Facing History and Ourselves works to create a society of people who think deeply about the way they live as they make choices in their local communities and confront issues of global concern.

Students were shared a quote from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: “Let us not forget, after all, that there is always a moment when the moral choice is made. Often because of one story or one book or one person, we are able to make a different choice, a choice for humanity, for life.” They were asked to use Wiesel’s quote as inspiration and were asked to reflect on what story, book, or person has influenced their thinking about ethical decision-making and what it has taught them about how they can participate as caring, thoughtful citizens in the world.

Nearly 5,200 students from across the U.S., UK, and Canada submitted essays. With the help of over 100 judges, 16 finalists were selected, each of whom represents a different school, community, and unique world view. The contest is sponsored by the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation. Winners will be announced on May 1.

Guess is the daughter of Craig and Susan Guess and is the co-founder of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation. She was named one of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and Hasbro Toy Company named her one of their 10 Community Action Heroes. She serves on the Making Caring Common Youth Advisory Committee at Harvard University and was named Kentucky’s top youth volunteer by Gov. Steve Beshear. Guess joined Gov. Matt Bevin last year to sign a bill into law that defines bullying for all 640,000 Kentucky public school students.

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