Published on October 20th, 2016 | by editor0
Congratulations to 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest Winners!
Congratulations to the six students who have won high honors in the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest, just one of many events in the month-long celebration at Wright College of Hispanic culture and achievement. The winners were announced at the Hispanic Heritage Month literary event and award ceremony, hosted by English Professor Daniel Borzutzky, on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. The competition was fierce: over fifty students submitted essays based on the following prompt:
“You guys know about vampires? You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”
WRITING TOPIC: What do you think [Dominican-American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot] Diaz means when he says that people become monsters if they are denied access to “any reflection of themselves?” Do you think he is correct in making this assertion? Why or why not? As you answer, discuss your own experience in classrooms and whether or not you saw yourself reflected in the works you studied. How did this sense of being reflected or not reflected shape your attitudes about and experiences with education?
The judges who read the essays included students Allen Loomis and Miguel Orozco (who generously volunteered their time), as well as English Professors Michael Petersen and Philip Virgen.
Here are the winners:
1st: Elijah Ruiz, “Mirrors, Monsters, and Identity”
2nd: Amanda Jiang, “On Acceptance and the Unfolding of Identities”
3rd: Marisol Lay, “Morena American”
Matthew Barge, “My Own Mirrors”
Cristina Chaidez, “To Clutch and Identity”
Faith O’Leary, “Making a Monster”
Students will be awarded the following prizes:
First Place: $200 gift certificate
Second Place: $100 gift certificate
Third Place: $50 gift certificate
Congratulations are due to all students who submitted their work – it was difficult to choose among such high quality essays!