$5,000 in Student Scholarships Awarded to Student Essayists by FFRF in 2002

The Freedom From Religion Foundation's annual scholarships for winning student essays have been awarded for 2002, with a total of $2,750 going to 13 currently enrolled college students, and $2,250 awarded to newly enrolled college students.
Kerrigan Valentine's essay, "Behind Frankincense," won her first place and the Phyllis Grams Memorial Award of $1,000. Kerrigan is enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College majoring in science.
Teddy Cox won second place ($500) for his essay about leaving the Mormon Church, "From Preacher to Apostate: How I Put God to the Test." Cox, majoring in Spanish and Latin American studies, is a junior at the University of California-Los Angeles. He plans to become a college professor.
Placing third was the essay "Spurting Out of Religious Servility: Decisions of a Disbeliever in the Bible Belt" by Jennifer Chadwick, a sophomore majoring in pre-pharmacy at the University of Mississippi-Oxford. Her cash prize was $250. These essays were published in the September 2002 issue of Freethought Today.
Honorable Mentions of $100 were awarded to: Dean Berry, Mass.; Susie Cosier, Mich.; Kristina da Fonseca, Mass.; Nate Hertweck, N.M.; Mike Jerue, Colo.; Cathy Lez, Colo.; T'ere Healoha Pagaduan, Hawaii; Jeanne Petty, Mich.; Richard Spencer, Ga., and Greg Foster, Fla. Their essays will be excerpted in future issues.
The top winning essays in the Foundation's annual essay competition for college-bound high school grads are in this issue.
This year's Blanche Fearn Memorial Award of $1,000 goes to Vered Blonstein for "Education under God." Vered just graduated from Western High School, in Davie, Fla., and will study journalism at Brandeis University, Mass.
Second place of $500 was awarded to Andrea Burbank for "Congress Shall Make No Law." Andrea graduated from State College Area High School in State College, Penn., and is a new student at Stanford University.
Third place honors were taken by Aron Talenfeld for "Learning 'Under God.' " Aron received $250. He graduated from Arcadia High School, Phoenix, and is enrolled at the University of Arizona.
Five high school grads received $100 Honorable Mention awards: Kathryn Poulios, Penn.; Sierra Smith, Ohio; Danilee Eichhorn, Penn.; Hope Butler; N.C., and Sean Carroll, Conn. Their essays will be excerpted in future issues of Freethought Today.
The 2003 essay competition guidelines will be announced in February 2003 and will be posted at the Foundation's website: http://ffrf.org/essay.html.

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