Southridge School student Enya Fang won first place in her category at A&E’s Lives That Make a Difference essay contest. (Contributed photo)

Southridge School student Enya Fang won first place in her category at A&E’s Lives That Make a Difference essay contest. (Contributed photo)

Southridge School student wins first place in national essay contest

Enya Fang’s winning entry was about an 11-year-old environmentalist in Nova Scotia

A student at Southridge School has won top prize in a prestigious essay contest.

Enya Fang, who is in Grade 8 at the South Surrey private school, was named the winner of A&E’s Lives That Make a Difference essay contest for her essay on Stella Bowles, an 11-year-old environmentalist in Nova Scotia.

Fang, who wrote and submitted the essay during the last school year, was competing in the Grades 5-8 category. As the first-prize winner, she will receive $2,000, and her teacher will receive $1,000 for use in the classroom.

Fang’s essay, a news release from the A&E television network explains, “recounts how Bowles… used a school science project to deliver a solution for the highly contaminated water of the LaHave River near her home.”

Bowles’ work inspired the federal government to pledge $15.7 million for the purification of the river.

Fang’s essay, “skillfully articulates how the teen activist is making a difference,” said Sara Hinzman, senior vice-president of distribution and strategy at A&E.

Two other winners in the contest came from B.C. Madeleine Brown, a Grade 12 student in Williams Lake, was the grand-prize winner in the Grade 9-12 category, while Vancouver student Paige Ingram also won first prize in her division.

The essay contest is run annually and invites Canadian students in Grades 5-12 to write an essay on a person they believe has had an important impact on Canadian society in the past year. A panel of judges, made up of A&E representatives as well as education experts, decides the winners in a variety of categories.

Essays were judged on persuasiveness, creativity and relevance.

Submissions for the 2020 contests will be accepted between Jan. 1-March 31 of next year. For more information, visit www.livesthatmakeadifference.com



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