2022 Second Place High School Essay

"Outstanding Courage in the Face of Tragedy" by Jack Randall, Caddo Magnet High School

Author's Statement

In this essay, I dissect the courageous acts of two largely unappreciated heroes in history, St. Maximillian Kolbe and Mamie Till. I begin by providing both a background of each person and a general overview of their situations. In comparing their experiences, I highlight the idea that there are many parallels between their stories; both of them endured great tragedy, maintained a sense of moral courage through their sorrows, and produced an outcome that was larger than themselves. These stories show that it does not take a distinguished person to show courage and change many lives as a result. This gives me a sense of hope, as it shows that good people can truly make a difference, regardless of whether they are being starved in Auschwitz or racially oppressed by an entire nation.