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Santa Clara City Library

2010 Teen Writing Contest

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2010 "My Hero" Teen Writing Contest

Who and what is a “hero” to a teen? That question was the theme of the Santa Clara City Library’s 2010 Teen Writing Contest. Teens were asked to write about their personal hero and describe the impact this hero had on their life. How did this hero influence or inspire them? Their hero could have been famous or obscure, imaginary or real, young or old, alive or dead, a family member or friend.

It turns out that many of the teens’ heroes were parents, siblings, grandparents or members of the community. Many of the writings were heartfelt, sincere and well written. The judges had a hard time deciding the winners among the 80 submissions. In fact, an honorable mention category was added to each age group because the essays were so good.

Out of the 80 entries, the judges chose nine winners. Submissions were judged on creativity, originality, neatness, punctuation, grammar and how well the writer conveyed the impact that their hero had on his/her life.

A reception to honor all winning writers was held on November 30, 2010. Over 40 people, including the writers and their families and friends, attended this event. Winners read their essays aloud to much appreciation and applause.

Funds for the grand prize, an iPad and iTunes gift card, and the reception were provided for by a grant from the Michael J. Kirsch Foundation. The Barnes and Noble gift card prizes were funded by a grant from an anonymous member of the Foundation and Friends of the Library. The Library is very grateful for both of these generous grants.


2010 Teen Writing Contest Winners

Top Row: Disha Trivedi, Hannah Villalpando, Emmanuel Villalpando, Jonathan Wright

Bottom Row: Neha Mannikar, Maya Varma, Maryam Labib, Melanie Mascarenhas, Ishita Dubey

Winning Entries
(To read the winning entries, click on the title next to the writer's name.)

Grand Prize: Melanie Mascarenhas, A Single Smile

High School Category
1st place: Maryam Labib, Lots of Americans, One America
2nd place: Emmanuel Villalpando, An Unsung Hero: My Grandfather, Hugo Padilla
3rd place: Jonathan Wright, The Unknown Hero
Honorable Mention: Neha Mannikar, My Hero

Middle School Category
1st place: Maya Varma, My Inspirational Hero
2nd place:Ishita Dubey, My Hero: Pandit Chitresh Das
3rd place: Hannah Villalpando, My Hero
Honorable Mention: Disha Trivedi, My Hero

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