The Freedom From Religion Foundation is proud to announce the 30 winners of the 2019 David Hudak Memorial Students of Color Essay Competition for College Students.
FFRF has paid out a record total of $20,850 in award money for this contest this year. FFRF 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 reflects those bonuses.
College students of color were asked to write a personal persuasive essay about “How being nonreligious has enhanced your life and how the secular community can better engage people of color.”
FFRF also thanks “Director of First Impressions” Lisa Treu for managing the details of this and the four other student essay contests and, of course, our “faithful faithless” volunteer and staff readers, including Don Ardell, Linda Aten, Dan Barker, Bill Dunn, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Judi Jacobs, Dan Kettner, Katya Maes, Gloria Marquadt, Dave Petrashek, Lauryn Seering and PJ Slinger.
FFRF has offered essay competitions to college students since 1979, high school students since 1994, grad students since 2010 and one geared explicitly for students of color (this one) since 2016. A fifth contest for law school students debuts this year.
This contest is named for the late David Hudak, an FFRF member who left a bequest to generously fund a student essay contest.
Winners, their ages, the colleges or universities they are attending and the award amounts are listed below.
Nicole Li, 18, Yale University, $3,500
Kea Ravi, 19, Ohio State, $3,000
Donovan Henderson, 18, Georgia
Institute of Technology, $2,500
Mika Kat, 20, Nova Southeastern
Yeh Seo Jung, 18, Swarthmore
Colleen Avila, 17, Washington
George Olea-Romo, 18, UC-San
Eighth place (tie)
Adonis Logan, 19, Centre College,
Anagha Sreevals, 18, George Mason
Ninth place (tie)
Leyma Hernandez, 18, Arizona State
Elisa Nicolini, 20, Virginia Polytechnic
and State University, $400
Tenth place (tie)
Javohn Dyer, 18, Michigan State
Kimberly Perez, 21, Duke University,
Honorable mentions ($200 each)
Camryn Beaco, 19, DePaul University
Raimundo Farmer, 19, Claremont
Evan Flemming, 19, Fisk University
Jessie Garcia, 18, Rutgers University
Kenneth Gonzalez Santibanez, 19,
Tea Floyd, 18, Columbia College
Jamiah Hawkins, 18, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro
Kathy Ho, 18, University of Tulsa
Asha Johnson, 18, Howard University
Nolan Mangal, 18, Baylor University
Kaylin Moss, 19, Marist College
Sarah Niles, 18, UC-Santa Cruz
Pari Parajuli, 18, UC-Berkeley
Isabelle Rosales, 21, Arizona State
Anoushka Shandilya, 17, UC-San Diego
Raven Yamamoto, 19, Loyola Mary mount University