Essay scholarships to seniors total $10,250

FFRF congratulates the 16 college-bound high school seniors who placed in this year’s essay competition. FFRF has offered scholarships through essay competitions to college students since 1979, high school students since 1994 and graduate students since 2010.

The high school contest is named for William J. Schultz, a Wisconsin member who died at 57, was a chemical engineer and cared deeply about FFRF’s work. FFRF also thanks Dean and Dorea Schramm of Florida for providing a $100 bonus to students who are members of a secular student club or the Secular Student Alliance. The total of $10,250 reflects bonuses.

Essayists were asked to describe “A moment when you stood up for freethought/secularism” in 500-700 words. There were six top awards and 10 honorable mentions.

First place: Delaney Gold-Diamond, 18, University of Chicago ($3,000).

Second place: Julianna Evans, 18, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ($2,000).

Third place: Philip Kaltman, 17, Georgia Institute of Technology ($1,000).

Fourth place: Harrison Horwitz, 17, University of California-Berkeley ($750).

Fifth place: Kali Richardson, 18, University of Arizona ($500).

Sixth place: Fallon Rowe, 17, Utah State University ($400).

Honorable mention ($200 each):

Adam Bivens, 18, Pennsylvania State University.

Erin Camia, 18, Case Western Reserve University. 

Aífe Ní Chochlain, 18, University of Pittsburgh.

Jayne M. Cosh, 18, State University of New York at New Paltz.

Sam Davidson, 18, Northwestern University. 

Alida Markgraf, 18, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Ryan Muskopf, 17, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Travis Northern, 17, University of Wisconsin-Parkside. 

Pranit Singh, 18, Creighton University. 

Tara Thankachan, 18, University of Texas-Austin.

“We consider our scholarships for freethinking students to be among FFRF’s most important investments in the future of freethought,” said Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “There are thousands of scholarships for religious students and hardly any rewarding critical thinking and the use of reason opining about religion.”

Upcoming issues will feature top placers in the college and graduate/mature student competitions.

Freedom From Religion Foundation