Essay Contest

Eighth Grade Essay Contest

Together with the Rochester Hills Public Library and the the Auburn Hills Public Library, the Rochester branch of AAUW annually sponsors an Eighth Grade Women’s History Month Essay Contest.

Are you in the 8th grade? Have you been inspired by a woman in history or a woman in your family? Write an essay telling about your experience and you could be the winner of the fourteenth annual Rochester AAUW 8th grade essay contest about “A Woman of Significance to Me.” Prizes of $100.00, $75.00 and $50.00 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners at the Rochester Community House on April 27, 2017.

The 2017 contest is now open. Essays are due by April 13, 2017 and winners will be featured at our meeting at the Rochester Community House on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Download the application and contest rules here.

And 2016 the winners are…

The Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women is proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Eighth Grade Essay Contest.

Winners of the Eighth Grade Essay Contest from left to right Mahima Srikanth, Luke Koski, Rohit Matal and Olivia Racette

Winners of the Eighth Grade Essay Contest from left to right Mahima Srikanth, Luke Koski, Rohit Matal and Olivia Racette

Luke Koski, a student at holy Family regional School, is the first place winner. Luke’s essay was about the one person who has touched his life in a special way and made “a permanent imprint” on him. For Luke that person is Mrs. Pille, his teacher in 6th grade and his mentor him during the last three years in National Junior Honor Society. Mrs. Pille joined Luke’s family at the event where Luke shared his essay.

Olivia Racette, a student at Hart Middle School, is the second place winner with her essay about her mother. Olivia shared her essay about the many ways her mother has influenced who she is today including being hardworking and honest; expressing her creativity with crafts and playing the violin with her mom and sister.

Mahima Srikanth, a student at Hart Middle School, is the third place winner with her essay about Maria Montessori. Mahima credits her Montessori education for her “love of learning, ability to concentrate intensely and self-discipline.” Mahima has been inspired by the challenges Maria Montessori overcame to challenge herself.

Rohit Mital, a student at West Middle School, is the winner of the Kathy Watson Memorial Award for his essay about his mother. Rohit expressed his awe at all that his mother has done for him and for encouraging him to explore multiple activities. He is learning from her organizational skills and sometimes wonders “if she is superhuman.”

Congratulations to this year’s winners and to the other students who shared their stories and aspirations. The world is sure to be a better place as they move into leadership roles.

Thank you to Betsy Raczkowski from the Rochester Hills Public Library and Jan Waun from the Auburn Hills Public Library for sharing your stories about a significant woman in your life.

The eighth-grade essay contest about “A Woman of Significance to Me” is sponsored annually by the Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Students living in the Rochester and Avondale school districts are invited to submit their essays. Additional sponsors of the contest are the Rochester Hills Public Library and the Auburn Hills Public Library.

And the 2015 winners are…

The Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women announces the winners of the 2015 Eighth Grade Essay Contest.

Winners of the AAUW Rochester (MI) 2015 Essay Contest

Winners of the Eighth Grade Essay Contest from left to right Geetanjali Rastogi, Leighann Heim, Ryan Mathews, Helayna Shackelford, Nicolette Patsarikas, Sydney Reed

Ryan Mathews, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the first place winner with his essay about Mother Teresa. Ryan has always believed that being a good student was a key to success. Reading the life story of Mother Teresa, however, altered his perspective and he now plans to “dedicate my medical career to provide services to those who are underserved.”

Helayna Shackelford, a student at Hart Middle School, is the second place winner with her essay about the gymnast Gabby Douglas. Helayna observed that “Gabby Douglas showed me that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what color you are, you can achieve your goals, if you work hard and are persistent.”

Nicolette Patsarikas, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the third place winner with her essay about Mrs. Mary Tangalos who was instrumental in helping Nicolette overcome her fear of public speaking. Nicolette shared how Mrs. Mary guided her through a speech festival thus giving her confidence in speaking that “will benefit me for the rest of my life in school and my career.”

Geetanjali Rastogi, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the winner of the Kathy Watson Memorial Award for her essay about her mother. Geetanjali’s goal is to be a doctor like her mother, a doctor who works hard to care for her patients while also devoting time to the care of her family. Geetanjali ended her essay by saying “although I take pride in calling her my mother, I cannot wait until I have achieved all of these goals so that she can take pride in calling me her daughter.”

Sydney Reed, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is an honorable mention winner for her essay about her mother. Sydney spoke of the constant support she has received from her mother as well as the times she was humbled when she became too cocky. “Most importantly, she always tells me to strive for my goals. Her guidance keeps me focused on the important things in life.”

Leighann Heim, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is an honorable mention winner for her essay about her piano teacher, Mrs. Katherine Hedlund. Seeing how her teacher has gone through struggles in her life, Leighann has gained the confidence to work for her goals with a positive attitude. “Mrs. Katherine Hedland shows me that being confident and positive during life’s hardships ultimately make you a better person.”

Congratulations to this year’s winners and to the other 61 students who shared their stories. The world is sure to be a better place as you move into leadership roles.

Thank you to Claire Poynter from the Rochester Hills Public Library and Jennifer Sunderhaus.from the Auburn Hills Public Library for sharing your stories about a significant woman in your life.

The eighth-grade essay contest about “A Woman of Significance to Me” is sponsored annually by the Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Students living in the Rochester and Avondale school districts are invited to submit their essays. Additional sponsors of the contest are the Rochester Hills Public Library and the Auburn Hills Public Library.

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The 2014 winners are…

Winners of the Eighth Grade Essay Contest from left to right Jonathan Li, Benjamin Person, Alex Kim, Rachel Pfarrer

Winners of the Eighth Grade Essay Contest from left to right Jonathan Li, Benjamin Person, Alex Kim, Rachel Pfarrer

The Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women announces the winners of the 2014 Eighth Grade Essay Contest.

Rachel Pfarrer, a student at Hart Middle School, is the first place winner with her essay about her mother, Michelle Pfarrer. Rachel tells of growing up with the constant support of her mom; whatever Rachel was passionate about her mom supported her. When Rachel struggled with math in middle school, her mom made it fun and they worked on it together. Rachel’s mom is her hero!

Benjamin Person, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the second place winner with his essay about Mrs. Howell. Benjamin tells of entering middle school in sixth grade with no particular love of science but having his vision completely changed by the “awesome” and “great” Mrs. Howell who was able to transform her students with her passion for science.

Jonathan Li, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the third place winner with his essay about Helen Keller. A host of food allergies set Jonathan apart from his peers through much of elementary school and caused him to wonder why he couldn’t be like other kids. From the life of Helen Keller he became aware of other people with disabilities and how they overcame them to lead a productive life and not just feel sorry for oneself.

Alex Kim, a student at Van Hoosen Middle School, is the winner of the Kathy Watson Memorial Award for his essay about his sister. Growing up Alex often believed, as others did, that older siblings were only there to make fun of younger siblings. Only after she left for college did Alex realize how much he had learned from her in their time after school when she drove him to activities, helped him with homework and encouraged him to achieve his goals.

The eighth-grade essay contest about “A Woman of Significance to Me” is sponsored annually by the Rochester branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Students living in the Rochester and Avondale school districts are invited to submit their essays. Additional sponsors of the contest are the Rochester Hills Public Library and the Auburn Hills Public Library.

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Presentation of Awards: Oakland University Essay Contest Winners

1st place winner, Rachel Dale; AAUW-Rochester Liaison Team, Sharon Postnieks; and 2nd place winner, Whitney Caldwell

1st place winner, Rachel Dale; AAUW-Rochester Liaison Team, Sharon Postnieks; and 2nd place winner, Whitney Caldwell

The Rochester Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has chosen the winners of the 2013 Oakland University Essay Contest for students, “A Woman of Importance to Me.” The contest is held in honor of National Women’s History Month for March.

The purpose of the contest is to encourage both male and female students to become more aware of the important ways women have made the world a better place. The essays were 400 words or less and about a woman who is or has been an inspirational force in their lives or the lives of others.

Certificates and monetary awards were made at the WGS Annual Film Festival, on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Oakland University Campus.

This year the Festival presented “Bully,” a documentary film that explores the violence experienced by young people. The film tells the stories of several of these children and explores how society should deal with bullying. Besides the viewing, the audience participated in an active discussion with a panel of experts from educational, legislation and medical fields.

    • 1st Place Award: Rachel S. Dale $100.00
    • 2nd Place Award: Whitney M. Caldwell $50.00
    • 3rd Place Award: Samantha Wolf $25.00
    • Honorable Mention: Jillian Tillman
    • Honorable Mention: Maryann Osinski

For more information about the AAUW Oakland University Essay Contest awards, contact Sharon Postnieks at spostnieks@yahoo.com.