Imagine Scholars Underscore Social Justice in 2021 National Character Essay Contest

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A Message from Imagine Schools CEO & President, Jason Bryant:

Imagine Schools 15th Annual National Character Essay Contest came to a successful conclusion on April 8, 2021. We are proud of the many young Imagine Schools’ talented writers that participated in this year’s contest.

With 42 schools participating, and 173 entries, a panel of seventeen judges read and were inspired by essays that demonstrated an understanding of complex maxims related to this year’s theme of Social Justice. The judges awarded first, second and third place winning essays for each grade, and where appropriate, several additional essays received honorable mention.

We are grateful for your commitment to help students grow as writers and young people of character.


Third Grade:

1st   Place:   Zara Jamil — Imagine North Manatee (FL)

2nd Place:    Jad Alsabagh — Imagine Mountain View (NV)

3rd Place:    Raegan Putz — Imagine Coolidge Elementary (AZ)

Honorable Mention:   Tosh Cavanaugh — Imagine Town Center (FL)

Fourth Grade:

1st Place:    Christian Bumpas — Imagine North Texas (TX)

2nd Place:   Sophia Schulz — Imagine Lakewood Ranch (FL)

3rd Place:   Will Walsh — Imagine South Vero (FL)

Honorable Mention:  Makayiah Nelson-Smith — Imagine Hope Lamond (D.C.)

Honorable Mention:  Dylan Marshall — Imagine Hope Tolson (D.C.)

Honorable Mention:  Sophia Blacknall — Imagine Mountain View (NV)

Fifth Grade:

1st Place:    Jonathan Guzman — Imagine Riverside Coachella (CA)

2ndPlace:    Shruthi Sankar — Imagine North Texas (TX)

3rd Place:    Xavier Barnes — Imagine Andrews (MD)

Honorable Mention:  Canaan Hill — Imagine North Port Elementary (FL)

Honorable Mention:  Kaylie Torres — Imagine Land O’Lakes (FL)

Honorable Mention:  Aiyanna White — Imagine Lincoln (MD)

Sixth Grade:

1st Place:    Alesa Davis — Imagine North Port Upper School (FL)

2nd Place:   Oria Buhbut — Imagine Plantation (FL)

3rd Place:    Aiden VonKriegenbergh — Imagine Avondale (AZ)

Honorable Mention:    Hailey Alberts — Imagine West Melbourne (FL)

Honorable Mention:    Simren Baldwin — Imagine Prep Surprise (AZ)

Honorable Mention:    Nattasha Marie Gerardo Lopez — Imagine Riverside Coachella (CA)

Seventh Grade:

1st Place:    Isabella Sanchez — Imagine Broward (FL)

2nd Place:   Kaya Benjamin — Imagine Morningside (MD)

3rd Place:    Cadence Worth — Imagine North Port Upper School (FL)

Honorable Mention:   Aubrey McClure — Imagine South Vero (FL)

Honorable Mention:   Jovannah Charles — Imagine Plantation (FL)

Eighth Grade:

1st Place:    Melanie Varela — Imagine Desert West Middle (AZ)

2nd Place:   Hunter B. Manning — Imagine South Lake (FL)

3rd Place:    Azalia Staton — Imagine Lakewood Ranch (FL)

Honorable Mention:    Jeremiah Munson — Imagine Lincoln (MD)

Honorable Mention:    Nyobi Fleming — Imagine Palmer Ranch (FL)

High School:

1st Place:    Bella Harper-Sanders — Imagine North Port Upper School (FL)

2nd Place:   Stacey Nelson — Imagine North Port Upper School (FL)

3rd Place:    Garrett Stark – Imagine Prep Surprise (AZ)

First, second, and third place winners will receive specially selected books on character, which are personalized and dedicated for each winner. First place winners will also receive personalized trophies. In addition, all winners listed above will receive certificates celebrating their achievements. School leaders are encouraged to recognize and celebrate student winners.

We are proud of your efforts to integrate character and academics in purposeful and meaningful ways!


Jason Bryant

CEO & President

Imagine Schools

2021 National Character Essay Contest Judges:

Diane Beatty

Jason Bryant

Jacob Bryant

Vivian Edisis

Alex Fernandez

Jennifer Fornes

Karen Gayle

Nancy Hall

Marla Knepper

Aaron Logan

Nadja Pardo

Marisa Preuss

Barry Sharp

Anne Sharp

Stephania Sherman

Kathy Sullivan-Orton

Gabriella Vidak

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