Galileo Senior Denny Chen won the 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Composition and Art Contest, sponsored by The San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators. Denny’s essay was chosen over high school participants from all over the SFUSD, including Lowell. He was honored at an awards brunch with the creators of the contest, and took home a certificate congratulating him on his hard work.
Denny was ecstatic when he found out from his AP English teacher, Ms. Maroun, that he won the contest. He says, “I didn’t think I would win, and [I thought], what was the point of me writing about this topic? However, after the experience I thought it was a great contest to enter because I felt accomplished.” Furthermore, Denny says,”if you ever get the chance to participate in this contest I highly recommend that you enter.”
Surprisingly, Denny did not even plan on entering the contest, but participated because he would receive extra credit for his AP English class. He wanted the extra credit because he couldn’t attend the play that Ms. Maroun took the class to see on November 24th, which she gave students extra credit for going. “I was not able to attend the play because I had a calculus test that day. I still wanted the extra credit, so I chose to enter the writing contest instead of going to the play” says Denny.
Instead Denny sat down at a table in Starbucks, Denny began creating his masterpiece with the idea of addressing the lack of advancement in our society. He says, “I just wanted to show how we ignore how slow we are progressing; we claim to have all these movements and like new rights, but nothing is really happening. Everything is on a very superficial level.”
AP English teacher Ms. Maroun says, ” I was absolutely elated to hear that Denny won. It was absolutely incredible. I found that besides extra credit, it was important piece to focus on, it’s about Dr. King. It was meaningful and to reflect on the prompt.”
Link to essay: