HERE high school studentessay contest winners announced

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775EMAIL: [email protected] high school student-essay contest winners announcedAlexia Peña, a sophomore at Reagan High School, won the 2011 essay contest sponsored by Rice University’s Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE) Project with a piece supporting the Red Cross’ Safe Ride Program. The program’s volunteers provide rides to intoxicated drivers.“There is no cost, and it brings safety to our peers and our surrounding citizens,” Peña wrote. “By introducing the program to Houston, our goal is to cut down on alcohol-related teen deaths and injuries and also help educate high school students on the dangers of drinking and driving. It will not only prevent accidents, but will also save lives.”Participants in this year’s contest were asked to identify the most important issues in public transportation and safety in Houston in an essay of 500-750 words. Rice faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students judged the contest. Peña’s piece was one of 189 submitted to the fourth annual essay contest. She received $1,000 dollars and a certificate for the Princeton Review SAT preparation course. Certificates for the SAT course also went to the second- and third-place finalists and seven honorable mentions. The course will be held on the Rice campus twice a week between July 5 and Aug. 16. In addition to Peña, other contest winners included:Second place: Daniela Salazar – César E. Chávez H.S.Third place: Valerie Salas – Eastwood Academy H.S.Honorable mention: Evelyn Duarte – Stephen F. Austin H.S.Rosendo Lopez – John H. Reagan H.S.Julieta Ayala – Eastwood Academy H.S.Daniel Gaona – John H. Reagan H.S.Adrian Izaguirre – César E. Chávez H.S.Jose Jimenez – John H. Reagan H.S.Clemente Velez – Eastwood Academy H.S.The awards were presented at a luncheon May 21. The ceremony was the end-of-year celebration for HERE’s High School Outreach Initiative and was attended by 10 winners of the contest and their families, principals, teachers and college coordinators from the winning schools, along with friends from the Houston and Rice community. All 189 high school students who submitted essays were offered an academic writing/college preparation workshop May 7. Attendees received lunch, a campus tour and guidance on university admissions as well as tips on improving their writing skills.The Houston-area high schools participating this year were Austin, Madison, Chávez, Reagan, Westbury, Empowerment College Prep, Worthing, Jefferson Davis, Yates and Jones. Eastwood Academy also participated. The HERE High School Essay Contest is designed to demonstrate Rice’s commitment to goodwill activities and strong relationships with the larger Houston community — consistent with the university’s Vision for the Second Century. The contest also contributes to Rice’s commitment to diversity within the student body through academic-based outreach.For more on the project, go to FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more