TAP Proudly Presents
The 2008-2009 Essay Contest Winners!
Grace Chao, St. Mary's High School, Woodside, New York
Gabrielle Thomas, The Purnell School, Pottersville, New Jersey
Amanda Low, Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Michigan
(Amanda's home is in Singapore)
Anonymous, Piscataway High School, Piscataway, New Jersey
Julia Barashkov, Israel
Lauren Beltramo, Nyack High School, Nyack, New York
Bao Lee, Oshkosh North High School, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Rebecca Marucci, Brownsville Area High School, Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Katie Neumann, Oshkosh North High School, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Justin Pergolini, Haverford Senior High School, Haverford, Pennsylvania
The High School Question:
The media are composed of many different parts: movies, television, radio, newspapers, the Internet and magazines. All of these media elements can serve to influence and give voice on a wide variety of issues to a wide range of people.
As young people mature and are required to make tough decisions, sometimes those decisions include matters involving race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. Do you think that the media focuses enough attention on giving young people a voice on the issues of prejudice and discrimination which confront them? What medium do you think might best provide a platform for the challenges that young people face on matters of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation? For your essay, please create a program that addresses one of these challenges. What issue have you chosen? What would the program's goals be? Why do you believe the media platform you've chosen is the most effective one?
Essays must not exceed 1000 words, must be typed or neatly written, clearly organized, and must address all parts of the question.
Christiane Lee, Vernon Center Middle School, Vernon, Connecticut
Sindhura Devineni, West Hills Middle School, West Bloomfield, Michigan
Bryan Bliek, Vernon Center Middle School, Vernon, Connecticut
Stephen Drake, West Hills Middle School, West Bloomfield, Michigan
Griffin F., Saxe Middle School, New Canaan, Connecticut
Nick Graves, West Hills Middle School, West Bloomfield, Michigan
Brenna Turner, West Hills Middle School, West Bloomfield, Michigan
The Middle School Question:
Reality shows have become commonplace on television. There is not a channel out there which does not feature a reality show. As with other programs, reality shows can either create prejudice and reinforce stereotypes towards people based solely on their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, body image, gender, or disability or can potentially serve to open our minds and hearts to others.
There are many so-called reality TV shows now on the air throughout the world such as Big Brother, Survivor, The Real World, Big World, Little People, John and Kate Plus 8, The Mole, The World's Biggest Loser, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, and many others. Write an essay addressing the following questions: What is your opinion about these shows? Do they portray reality and/or do they perpetuate stereotypes? Which show changed your mind or can serve to change other people's minds, either positively or negatively, about a specific group of people? Would you recommend that others see this show? Why or why not? Please include the title of the show and give concrete examples to illustrate your opinion.
Essays must not exceed 750 words, and must be typed or neatly written, clearly organized and answer all parts of the question.