The two essays written by Shania Patton, of Hamilton Middle School and Joshua Baker, III, of Hickory Ridge Middle School were selected from among 850 essayists. Students from the University of Memphis Department of Criminology read all of the 850 essays and selected thirty finalists. Members of the local Memphis Chapter of the National Association of Black Prosecutors read the essays of the thirty finalists and selected the essays by Patton and Baker as the two best submissions. Patton and Baker will travel this summer to Washington, D.C. and participate in the Do the Write Thing Challenge National Recognition Ceremony.
The "Do the Write Thing Challenge is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV) and was created to give middle school students the opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives and to communicate in writing what they think should be done to change the culture of violence. Personal responsibility is emphasized. By encouraging students to make personal commitments to do something about the problem, the program ultimately seeks to help them break the cycles of violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.
The national “Do the Write Thing Challenge” is sponsored by the Kuwait-America Foundation with the core mission to strengthen ties between the peoples of the United States and Kuwait. This year’s corporate partners included:
- The Commercial Appeal
- Hope Presbyterian Church
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Pinnacle Airlines