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By Phuong Nguyen

The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. contest returns with the chance for students to win up to $250.

Every year, students respond to Martin Luther King, Jr. through a poem, essay, drawing or multimedia (animation, stills, live action, etc.).

This year, students had to submit their entries to an English or art teacher by Nov. 10.  The rewards for winners are the district Grand Prize of $250, school prize of $100 for first place and another school prize of $75 for second place.

“I wrote an essay about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideals and how it applies today,” remembers senior Sean Tseng, who won last year’s Grand Prize.  “I was really excited (when I won) because I wasn’t sure how my entry would do (since) it was the first time I entered a school contest.”

English teachers Nancy Kennett, Ryan Lundell and Peggy Lee take a similar approach to Martin Luther King’s quote this year: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“When I saw the quote, I (immediately) thought of the immigration crisis around the world,” recalls Ms. Kennett.  “These refugees are facing enemies at home and so we need to be the friends to accept them into our lives.”

“This quote seems to be asking us, ‘What are we doing today, tomorrow, next week to improve this country and to continue the legacy that Martin Luther King started,’” points out Mr. Lundell.

“I think (the quote) is really relevant because the people with the most power are really the people who are the bystanders,” states Ms. Lee.

The teachers believe that this year’s quote implies that we need to speak up today and defeat racism together.

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