SPRINGFIELD – Ten students who have written thought-provoking personal essays for the annual NPR Illinois “This I Believe” contest will be honored March 4 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The winners of the contest, which is co-sponsored by Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, will get to read their essays in the museum’s Union Theater. They will also receive $500 stipends.
The free event, including a reception with the students after the presentations, is open to the general public. It runs 6-8 p.m. To reserve a spot, visit bit.ly/thisibelieve2020.
“We are proud to join NPR Illinois and the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise in recognizing the talent and hard work of these students,” said Melissa Coultas, acting executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “It’s a wonderful match for us, because Lincoln truly understood the importance of education and of strong personal beliefs.”
The essay contest is based on the 1951 radio program hosted by Edward R. Murrow that gave contributors the chance to write a short essay conveying what they believe. NPR Illinois adopted this idea to ask central Illinois high school seniors to write about their beliefs as they prepare to enter adulthood.
The essays air on NPR Illinois and appear in The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. The project is supported by Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise; Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP; Marine Bank; BLH Computers; Brian Barstead; the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, and Rotary District 6460.
The winning students and their essay titles are:
• Kenya Apongule, Southeast High School, Springfield; “My Black is Beautiful”
• Grace Beyers, Southeast High School, Springfield; “I Believe in a Royal Flush”
• Jatin Dhamrait, Springfield High School, Springfield; “Chalk”
• Ashanti Hatchett, Lanphier High School, Springfield; “Unconventional Beauty”
• Kylee Kazenski, North Mac High School, Virden; “I Believe in Passing the Ball”
• Truman Poteat, North Mac High School, Auburn; “I Believe in Big Ideas”
• Luke Siebers, Quincy Notre Dame, Quincy; “Honesty is the Best Policy”
• Jeramey Spann, North Mac High School, Virden; “Superheroes”
• Joseph Tisckos, Southeast High School, Springfield; “False Boundaries”
• Ethan Whelpley, Glenwood High School, Chatham; “Chemistry Lessons”
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.
For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov. You can follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.