Essay Contest 2009 – 2010

“Compassion in Action
as exemplified by the leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths”

The contest was launched on November 8, 2009, at a Kick-Off Event held at Georgetown University. The theme for this year was – “Compassion in Action as exemplified by the leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths.” – scholars and clergy addressed the topic and answered students’ questions during the kick-off.

On March 28, 2010, participating essayists were honored at the Children of Abraham Awards Ceremony at the Riggs Library at Georgetown University.

3.farah_image_onlyFarah Anwar Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the U.S. State Department, delivered the keynote address. Before cash and other awards were presented, essayists spoke of ways they’ve grown as a result of their participation in the contest.

Also during the Awards Ceremony, Youth Leadership Grants of $1,000, with another $1,000 pledged as a matching grant, were awarded to Fahad Ahsan, Victor Crentsil, Veronica Ferris, Rishabh Khatri, Danny Roza, Sarah Schwartz, Shayna Solomon and Ezra Wexler.




Watch the Awards Ceremony Video




See photos from the Awards Ceremony




Download the Awards Ceremony PowerPoint presentation




The theme of this year’s peace essay contest is compassion, and the essay question reads as follows:

Part I:  What do the Abrahamic traditions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam teach us about compassion?  How did their founders — Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad — serve as exemplars of compassion?

PART II: Propose a practical teen-based project that embodies the principles of compassion.  Show how the teachings you described in part I inspired the project.  (A project could be advocacy, education, or material or moral support to those in need of society’s help.  Make clear whether the focus is on individuals or whole populations, and how these would be identified or selected).

Award Winners

First Place – Danny Roza (Mercersburg Academy)
“Compassion in the Roots of Religion”

Our first place essayist was featured in several articles, one featured on the Mercersburg Academy website, and the second from the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

Second Place –Sarah Schwartz (Montgomery Blair High School)
“Welcoming the Stranger: A Call for Interfaith Compassion”

Third Place – Rishabh Khatri (Glenelg Country School)
“The Abrahamic Faiths – Compassion: Humanity Unified”

Fourth Place – Claire Boston (Montgomery Blair High School)
“Compassion in the Abrahamic Traditions: A Call for Activism”

Fourth Place – Victor Crentsil (Glenelg Country School)
“Religious Expression through Authentic Compassion”

Fourth Place – Rebekah Lizotte (Hudson High School)
“Compassion Lead by Sorrow ”

Fourth Place – Shayna Solomon (Montgomery Blair High School)
“Compassion in Action: Where the Values of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam Meet”

Honorable Mention – Fahad Ahsan (Glenelg Country School)
“Understanding Compassion in Abraham’s Religion”

Honorable Mention – Constanza Bartholomae (Hudson High School)
“The Leaders of the Abrahamic Faiths & Ourselves as Demonstrators of Compassion”

Honorable Mention – Michelle Cook (Hudson High School)
“Compassion, a Call for Kindness”

Honorable Mention – Veronica Ferris (Washington International School)
“Hands On”

Honorable Mention – Allen Jo (West Springfield High School)
“Evidence of Compassion In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”

Honorable Mention – Maria Motta (Hudson High School)
“Compassion for Single Mothers”

Honorable Mention – Adarsh Pradeep (West Springfield High School)
” Interpretations of Compassions in the Abrahamic Faiths”

Honorable Mention – Muaz Rahman (West Springfield High School)
“Compassion – A Multi-Faith Perspective”

Honorable Mention – Anthony Shepherd Rousak (Sussex Technical High School)
“Compassion in the Abrahamic Traditions”

Honorable Mention – Ezra Wexler (Montgomery Blair High School)
“Who Cares?”

On-Line Mentors

Rabbi A. Nathan Abramowitz, Faculty, Theology Department, Georgetown University

Laith Al-Qasem, Chief Executive Officer of Arabian Business Consultants for Development

Susan Bilek, Philosophy Teacher, Washington DC

Diana L. Chambers, The Chambers Group, LLC

Kenneth E. McNeil, Partner, Susman Godfrey LLP

June Murray-Crawford, High School Teacher, Hudson, Massachusetts

Professor Sulayman S. Nyang, Professor of African Studies, Howard University

Essay Judges:

Karima Diane Alavi, former Director, Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute

Andrew R. Ammerman, Board of Regents, Georgetown University

Susan Bilek, Philosophy Teacher, Washington DC

David Cannon, Scientist with Science Applications International Corporation

Pastor Mark Greiner, Georgetown University

Alex Kronemer, Writer, Film Producer and Lecturer on Religious Diversity

Stacy Ricotta, Educational Advisor, Houston, Texas