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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

2018 Students of Color Essay Contest winners

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is proud to announce the 15 winners of the 2018 David Hudak Memorial Students of Color Essay Competition for College Students.

College students of color were asked to write a personal persuasive essay about the “Challenges of being a student of color who rejects religion.”

Winners are listed below and include the award amount and the college or university they will be attending. FFRF has paid out a total of $10,550 in award money for this contest this year. FFRF thanks Dean and Dorea Schramm of Florida for providing a $100 bonus to students who are members of a secular student club or the Secular Student Alliance. The total reflects those bonuses.

First place

MiKaelah Freeman, New York University ($3,000)

Second place

Michael Brown, Dartmouth College ($2,000)

Third place

Noemi Rosario, University at Albany (SUNY) ($1,000)

Fourth place

Johann Rucker, University of Nevada-Las Vegas ($750)

Fifth place

Alondra Vega Rivera, Escuela de Artes Plasticas y Diseno de Puerto Rico ($600)

Sixth place

Azarius Williams, Syracuse University ($500)

Seventh place

Jesica Maldonado Matias, San Francisco State University ($400)

Honorable mentions ($200 each)

Joseph Florida, Southern University A&M College

Anissa Foster, Stanford University

Kelvin Martinez Gomez, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Alexandra Harmon, Howard University

Shejan Heaven, University of Georgia

Evan Malcolm, University of South Florida

Tatem Rios, Inver Hills Community College

Therrin Wilson, University of

Students of color essay contest


FFRF has offered essay competitions to college students since 1979. This is FFRF’s third annual student of color contest. Its other three essay contests are open to students of all backgrounds.

The general college student essay winners will be announced in the October issue and the grad student essay winners will be announced in the November issue.