A Berry College senior placed third in The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Contest, beating out hundreds of other entries in the nation-wide essay competition.
Alyssa Hollingsworth, an English major with a concentration in creative writing, hails from Hampton, Va., and will be awarded $1,500 and the opportunity to meet author and Nobel Peace Prize Winner and author Elie Wiesel.
The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics is an annual competition that challenges college students in the U.S. to submit essays on the urgent ethical issues that confront us in today's complex world. "Today's college students are listening to the ethical voices within. They are drawing on their memories and the lessons of their teachers, and are concerned with the morality of their private and public experiences. They are challenging us all to make a difference," Wiesel said in a statement.
Hollingsworth's story, "Naan in the Afghan Village," is a creative non-fiction piece in which she recounts the experience of visiting her sister in Afghanistan in 2011. Hollingsworth's sister works at a nongovernmental organization that specializes in community development and health classes for Afghan women. The trip proved to be incredibly emotional and educational for Hollingsworth. Her essay eloquently describes the Afghan village and the hospitality, kindness, honor and deep hope for peace she found for the women there.
Hollingsworth wrote the story for a class taught by Berry Visiting Assistant Professor of English Abigail Greenbaum. Greenbaum was so impressed with the essay that she encouraged Hollingsworth to submit the piece.
"I was so honored to receive this award," Hollingsworth said. "Without the encouragement of Greenbaum and other Berry staff, I wouldn't have even thought to enter. So many people helped me take this difficult experience and turn it into one of the best pieces I've ever written. I'm just so grateful for the support I've had along the way."
All submissions to the essay contest are judged anonymously. A distinguished committee reviews the essays, and a jury headed by Wiesel chooses the winners. Winning essays present intensely personal stories, originality, imagination, and clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma.
Article by Student Public Relations Assistant Hayden Sloan