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PHS freshman takes 3rd in MLK essay contest


Portage High School freshman Kianah King originally had no intention of writing an extra essay for school. It wasn’t until she learned of the prompt for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Competition that King decided to enter the contest.

In her essay, King related herself to the quote “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” This essay, which King described as “easy to write, since the quote interested me,” earned her third place in the senior division of the competition.

The MLK, Jr. Essay Competition is held every year on the third Monday of January with the intent to celebrate the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With only five essays available for submission by a single school, students in middle and high schools are instructed to write an essay based on a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how it applies to their life.

In this essay, King wrote about what the words meant to her and a situation in her life that proved the significance of the quote. After discovering that she won third place in the senior division, King was filled with excitement.

“It’s kind of crazy that I won third place considering that my essay was picked from essays entered by high schools throughout the state of Indiana. However, I am grateful to have won third place. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and winning this competition proves my writing can serve a purpose outside of school or personal enjoyment,” King said. 

The achievement earned King a monetary award that she plans to save for later necessities. While she is currently unsure of what college she plans to attend or what she wants to major in, she is hoping for some kind of inspiration to help influence her decision.