Rockford students write winning essays on community improvement - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford students write winning essays on community improvement

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Gabriela Muniz, Annie Hobson, Terranisha Purifoy Gabriela Muniz, Annie Hobson, Terranisha Purifoy
Sebastian Rodriguez, Annie Hobson, Austin Steiner Sebastian Rodriguez, Annie Hobson, Austin Steiner
ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Three Rockford middle school students have been announced winners in the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) 2013 Essay Contest.

Flinn Middle School students Terranisha Purifoy, 6th grade, and Gabriela Muniz, 8th grade, were winners, along with Sebastian Rodriguez, a 7th grader at RESA. RESA 7th grader Austin Steiner received an honorable mention. Purifoy, Muniz, and Rodriguez all received $50 gift cards and Steiner received a $25 gift card, compliments of the Rockford Housing Authority.

All four students wrote essays on what they can do to improve Rockford or the city's greatest strengths.

Annie Hobson, MYAC Advisor and Outreach Worker for the City of Rockford Human Services Department, said the students' essays were "great." "Terranisha Purifoy wants to see more help for struggling students in the schools. Gabriela Muniz suggested emphasizing the community's strengths, such as the teachers, churches, youth clubs, and emergency response personnel. Sebastian Rodriguez felt students should make a commitment to picking up trash and recycling, but also emphasized that 'Helping your community isn't a job; it's a responsibility.' Austin Steiner noted the importance of getting to know your neighbors in helping to work for a better community."

MYAC is comprised of local teens committed to civic engagement. It's funded by the City of Rockford Human Services Department through the Community Services Block Grant and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

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