Harris County Judge Emmett recognizes “Do the Write Thing Challenge”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett honored nearly 200 student finalists in the 2014 Houston/Harris County Do the Write Thing Challenge in early June.

Author, motivational speaker and radio personality Dayna Steele was the keynote speaker at the annual recognition ceremony.

The Challenge is an educational initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence that encourages seventh and eighth-grade students in the community’s public and private school systems to examine the impact of violence on their lives and to write about their experiences.

The Challenge gives students an opportunity to share their stories and ideas with a large audience in hopes of making a difference in their community.

Coordinators for the local 2014 Challenge received submissions from nearly 13,000 students attending 119 schools in 40 school districts. Among the 216 student finalists, two were chosen as national finalists. The national finalists were invited to attend recognition events in Washington, D.C., on June 14.

As chairman of the Houston/Harris County Do the Right Thing Challenge, Emmett also recognized the Challenge’s two national finalists along with all finalists’ parents and teachers at the event.

The national finalists are Connor Carpenter of Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Dayton ISD and Fatima Menendez of Burbank Middle School in the Houston Independent School District.

“It’s a great honor and humbling experience for me to recognize these young students for their outstanding ideas and insights into our community,” Emmett said. “Their experiences can be heartbreaking, but their writings and suggestions may provide them with healing and may also highlight ways for others to make better decisions when faced with difficult or violent situations.”

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