🥇 We Have a Winner! 🏆


This year we set aside $1,000 for our CFD High School Scholarship essay contest and today we're announcing our winner!

📣 But first, here's this year's prompt:

Tell us what you feel has had the most impact on voting -- either positive or negative -- in America. And, what would you change to improve our elections?

We received over fifty entries, and Merit Onyekwere is the winner of this year's $1,000 scholarship essay contest.

From Bear Creek High School, in Stockton, Merit has been involved in student government since her freshman year. She chairs her school's AVID club that has been helping students and their parents participate in this year's election.

📝 Here's an excerpt from Merit's winning piece:
"Voters are bombarded with polarizing rhetoric in the media, seeing one-sided discourse and unnuanced analyses of presidential nominees and their ethics. This polarity makes it difficult for voters to align themselves with a candidate that they believe in, out of fear of being ostracized or deemed morally repugnant for whom they support. ... Americans are left to watch the spectacle of preliminary debates and national conventions, feeling helpless about the election because neither candidate boasts effective policies that will demonstrably improve the state of our nation."
Merit has submitted a video of her reading her winning essay and we'll be including it in this year's event video, premiering on Sunday, October 11th at noon. Be sure to register to get the video link so you can watch it with everyone else.

If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram over the next few days, you'll see a few other quotes from essays that caught our attention.

We'd also like to take a moment to thank Robert Nickelson for his generous donation to support our scholarship, Scholarship Impact for helping us launch and promote our contest, the CFD Scholarship Committee for judging the dozens of essays, and all of those students for submitting their entries.

-David Diskin, President
 California Freethought Day Committee
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