YPSILANTI — On July 1, Eastern Michigan University’s chapter of Upward Bound, a federally-funded college-prep program, announced winners of it’s writing challenge for youths enrolled in its six-week summer program working to offer high schoolers experience in various careers. The five writing challenge winners are: Cara Altherr, for her essay on acceptance of LGBTQ people of color, Alexis Herron, for her essay on abortion rights, Selena Calzado, for her essay on immigration, Davonna Washington, for her essay on police brutality, Mareka Ray for her essay on the opioid epidemic. The challenge was born out of a partnership between Upward Bound and Washtenaw County news outlet, Concentrate, as part of its reporting program called “On the Ground Ypsi.”
“I want these writers to think of themselves who’ve done impressive professional work and perhaps taken the first steps towards a professional career in writing,” said Patrick Dunn, Concentrate’s managing editor, who’s fascinated the writing challenge in the journalism workshop he’s teaching in Upward Bound’s summer programming. Dunn’s essay prompt challenged students with answering how they would solve their community’s greatest challenge. Students spent the weeks of July drafting and revising their essays ahead of the Summer Academy Closing Ceremony on July 25, where five winners were announced.