The Freedom From Religion Foundation has awarded $11,250 to 13 college-bound high school seniors in this year’s essay competition. Seniors were asked to “describe a moment when they stood up for freethought and/or that made them proud to be a freethinker,” in 500-700 words. There were seven winners in the top five, with two ties for fourth and fifth place, plus six honorable mentions. Their essays can be found on pages 11-15.
Nonagenarian Herbert “Harry” Bushong of Texas once again generously endowed this year’s contest. FFRF would also like to extend special thanks to Californian John Moe for endowing the honorable mention awards of $200 and to Dorea and Dean Schramm, Florida, for providing each student with a $50 bonus.
First place ($3,000): Jordan Halpern, University of California-Davis.
Second place ($2,000): Danielle Kelly, University of Montana-Missoula.
Third place ($1,000): Joseph Price, UCLA.
Fourth place tie ($500): Nicole Schreiber, New York University.
Fourth place tie ($500): Sarah Hedge, Northwestern.
Fifth place tie ($300): Rebecca Ratero, Rutgers.
Fifth place tie ($300): Samantha Biatch, Smith College.
Honorable Mention ($200): Abigail Dove, Swarthmore College.
Honorable Mention ($200): Amedee Martella, University of Colorado-Boulder.
Honorable Mention ($200): Cheyenne Tessier, The George Washington University (Cheyenne will defer her university enrollment for a year to do humanitarian service in Senegal with Global Citizen.)
Honorable Mention ($200): Jarrett Browne, Wright State University.
Honorable Mention ($200): Kaitlin Holden, Winthrop University.
Honorable Mention ($200): Zach Gowan, University of South Carolina-Spartanburg.
Look for honorable mention essays in future issues.
In September, 2012 college essay winners will be announced, and in October, FFRF will announce graduate/mature student winners.