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Pulitzer Center Update January 8, 2020

Winners and Finalists: Local Letters for Global Change 2019

Local Letters for Global Change 2019
Read the winning entries to the 2019 Local Letters for Global Change contest.

The Pulitzer Center congratulates the 2019 Local Letters for Global Change contest winners and finalists!

The twelve young leaders whose writing and bios appear below were selected from among nearly 500 entrants worldwide. These writers have demonstrated a passion for global issues, made meaningful connections between their own communities and the wider world, and offered compelling solutions for some of the world's most pressing problems. This year, our judges were impressed by the range of entries from every grade level, and so have selected a first place winner in the elementary, middle, and high school categories.

In fall 2019, we asked K-12 students to make their voices heard by writing a letter to their local representative about a global issue they want to see addressed, using Pulitzer Center reporting to make their case. Students drew on diverse reporting projects on subjects ranging from education equity to the opiod epidemic, from climate change to LGBTQIA+ rights. You can view the workshop guide here and stay up to date on education opportunities and resources by signing up for our weekly education newsletter.

Contest Winners

First Place, High School Category

Ahmed Ahmed, 10th grade, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, NV
Letter on education equity to Representative Susie Lee

First Place, Middle School Category

London Skinner, 8th grade, Francine Delany New School for Children, NC
Letter on climate change and the environment to Representative Patrick McHenry

First Place, Elementary School Category

Isolina Cachan, 5th grade, UCLA Lab School, CA
Letter on the opiod epidemic to Representative Kamala Harris


Toni Oluwatade, 12th grade, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, MS
Letter on diabetes and food security to Representative Bennie Thompson

Kika Dunayevich, 7th grade, Mill Valley Middle School, CA
Letter on deforestation and climate change to Representative Kamala Harris

Zazie Kanwar-Torge, 8th grade, Francine Delany New School for Children, NC
Letter on LGBTQIA+ rights to Representative Thom Tillis

Robin Huang, 12th grade, National Wen-Hua Senior High School, Taiwan
Letter on reproductive rights to Legislator Lin Yu-fang

Lucia Mejia Cardenas, 6th grade, Bank Street School for Children, NY
Letter on deforestation and animal endangerment to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Britney Quiroz, 11th grade, Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School, IL
Letter on Latinx women's rights to Representative Jesús García

Kevyn Carter-Long, 8th grade, Francine Delany New School for Children, NC
Letter on diabetes and health care access to Representative Thom Tillis

Peyton Wedemeyer, 10th grade, Joseph A. Foran High School, CT
Letter on the opiod epidemic to Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Richard Blumenthal, and Christopher Murphy

Dahlia Aliwa, 12th grade, New Tech Academy @ Wayne High School, IN
Letter on immigrants' rights to Representative Jim Banks

Thank you to every participating student and teacher who engaged deeply with a global issue and inspired us with your passion and your insight. Letters were judged by the Pulitzer Center education team based on content and structure according to the following criteria: