Winners of diversity essay contest awarded, encourage youth engagement

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Dauphin County commissioners are celebrating youth ideals of diversity. The commissioners joined with the county's cultural celebration task force Wednesday to announce the winners of the county's annual Cultural Diversity Essay Contest.

Out of 464 entries, nine students, ages 6 through 18, were named winners. Organizers say the project is about getting young people actively thinking about cultural diversity.  Rachel Amanor, an incoming eighth-grader at Central Dauphin East Middle School, is also pushing for youth engagement.

"Young individuals should speak up and tell adults how they feel about how other people are treating them and how they treat others," she said.

Amanor also spoke about current tensions in the nation.

"I think it's important for everyone to stay positive," she said. "There's always a space for you out there. Diversity is just a label. We're all equal and we don't have to be scared of people who are different from us."

Amanor took first place in the 10-14 age group.  The rest of the winners are listed below:

Ages 6 to 9:

  • first place - Laghima Pal, North Side Elementary School
  • second place - Conner Moodie, Hershey Elementary School
  • third place - Elizabeth Boyd, North Side Elementary School

Ages 10-14:

  • first place - Rachel Amanor, Central Dauphin East Middle School
  • second place - Miranda Lubold, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School
  • third place - Emily M. Calamia, Central Dauphin East Middle School

Ages 15-18:

  • first place - Alivia Parlin, Central Dauphin High School
  • second place - Eric Wang, Hershey High School
  • third place - Makenzie Skinner, Harrisburg High School
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