‘Peace Begins with Me’

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School of the Arts students win MLK essay, poetry contest

  • Sabrina Glow
    Sabrina Glow
  • Racquel Perry
    Racquel Perry
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An Osceola High School for the Arts student has won the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Contest

The Dr Martin Luther Ling Kr Writing Contest was open to middle and high school age students in Osceola County. Middle School students were invited to submit a work of poetry, while high school students were invited to submit a 300-word, five-paragraph essay, all following the theme, "Peace Begins with Me."

The essay winner was Raquel Perry, a 12th grade student at Osceola County School for the Arts.

The poetry winner was Sabrina Glow, a sixth grade student also at Osceola County School for the Arts.

Here's Raquel's essay:

"Martin Luther King once said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal/» Peace is a state of mutual harmony between people or groups. A complete peace around the world is ideal, however, it is not our reality. I believe humans thrive best when we find the peace within ourselves and nurture our hopes for peace in the world.

Peace is a choice I choose to make despite the circumstances that are out of my control. As we grow as individuals, we often become embroiled in judgement and hatred/ Many aspects of our lives become a hurdle we must get across or an enemy we must fight. We feel that we must find a state of peace rather than experiencing it.

However, I choose to find the peace within myself by understanding that peace is a reality of our own identity and its accordance to nature. In other words, peace is how you choose to exist despite the negativity.

Everyone’s peace is different. Once we experience the peace in ourselves, we must accept the peace in others. Right now, I believe we need to dissolve the walls we have constructed to divide us and get rid of the notion that revenge is the best way to resolve conflict rather than compassion.

Ghandi says, each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.

encourage the rest of the world to look inward and find what’s holding us back from being truly loving and peaceful human beings. It is time for us to establish peace in our daily lives and value peace as an empowering energy that sits within our hearts to create a better world for all.

Judges for the submissions included the Osceola County NAACP, Osceola Visionaries Inc. and Osceola Library System staff. The winners were announced at the city of Kissimmee's Martin Luther King Unity Celebration on Jan. 18, where they received a plaque and an invitation to attend the Osceola Visionaries Annual Martin Luther King Commemoration Banquet on Monday.