Young Authors Sacred Essay Contest Winners

The Center for Interfaith Relations is pleased to announce the winners of our inaugural Young Authors Sacred Essay Contest.

Grand Prize Winner

Racial Injustices and Their Impact
By John Riley Kaufman

Click here to read his essay in LEO Weekly.

Honorable Mentions

A Light Among the Darkness 
By Annie Pan

Communal Struggles and Resilience
Sean O’Bryan

About the Contest

The Center for Interfaith Relations launched its inaugural Young Authors Essay Contest in January 2021, soliciting essays from emerging young authors (ages 13-18). We asked participants to reflect on changes to the world in the past year — and specifically how the changing world has changed them.

Essayists were encouraged to explore themes such as connection, contemplation and common action (working together for the greater good). Questions to consider included: How has the changing world changed you? How have your experiences and observations influenced your actions? In response, we received many thoughtful submissions on topics ranging from racism to the pandemic, with such as the young authors touching on themes including resiliency, equity, justice, community, contemplation and action.


Sincere thanks to our contest judges:

Mary Sheridan, PhD — English Professor at the University of Louisville

Aletha Fields – Iroquois High School English Teacher