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Diversity Essay Contest For Inn

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Dauphin County commissioners are celebrating youth ideals of diversity. The commissioners joined with the county's cultural celebration task force Wednesday to announce the winners of the county's annual Cultural Diversity Essay Contest.

Out of 464 entries, nine students, ages 6 through 18, were named winners. Organizers say the project is about getting young people actively thinking about cultural diversity.  Rachel Amanor, an incoming eighth-grader at Central Dauphin East Middle School, is also pushing for youth engagement.

"Young individuals should speak up and tell adults how they feel about how other people are treating them and how they treat others," she said.

Amanor also spoke about current tensions in the nation.

"I think it's important for everyone to stay positive," she said. "There's always a space for you out there. Diversity is just a label. We're all equal and we don't have to be scared of people who are different from us."

Amanor took first place in the 10-14 age group.  The rest of the winners are listed below:

Ages 6 to 9:

  • first place - Laghima Pal, North Side Elementary School
  • second place - Conner Moodie, Hershey Elementary School
  • third place - Elizabeth Boyd, North Side Elementary School

Ages 10-14:

  • first place - Rachel Amanor, Central Dauphin East Middle School
  • second place - Miranda Lubold, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School
  • third place - Emily M. Calamia, Central Dauphin East Middle School

Ages 15-18:

  • first place - Alivia Parlin, Central Dauphin High School
  • second place - Eric Wang, Hershey High School
  • third place - Makenzie Skinner, Harrisburg High School


Essay Question:

How do you begin the conversation about diversity with those who are not inclined to listen?

Disclaimer:  Please note that the use of plagiarism is a violation of the Smeal Honor Code. Please use your own thoughts and ideas to formulate an effective essay.


  • You must be a full-time undergraduate student enrolled at any Penn State campus to submit an essay for consideration in the S.T.A.R.T. Essay Contest.


Your submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Submit a written expression i.e.; essay, poem, story, or song.
  • Cover page MUST include: title of paper, student name, major, semester standing, and Penn State email-address
  • 12-point Times New Roman font (Double-Spaced)
  • Written expressions are to be no longer than 5 pages
  • One inch margins
  • No group submissions allowed
  • Students may only enter the contest one time
  • Submissions must be sent by Penn State email address(xyz1234@psu.edu). In addition, please email how you heard about the Diversity contest. Otherwise, the submission will not be accepted.
  • If chosen to present, presentations must last 4-7 minutes - Winners will be recognized and are required to present their final paper at the S.T.A.R.T. Conference on Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Written Expressions will be judged on:

  • Quality of writing
  • Relevance of topic
  • Adherence to guidelines


START Essay are no longer being accepted

In order to prepare and schedule their presentation for final judging, finalists will be notified by Friday, February 2, 2018

Second round – Final presentations will be given.

Winners will be notified by via email.


Members of the S.T.A.R.T. Committee will choose for the finalists and winners. The Committee includes undergraduate students, the Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, the Program’s MBA Graduate Assistant, and additional Smeal advisors.


  • First place -      $1500
  • Second place -  $750
  • Third place -     $500

*Winners will be recognized and are required to present their final paper at the S.T.A.R.T. Conference on Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Nittany Lion Inn.


Please note that if at any time your scholarships, grants, and other types of student financial aid are in excess of your federally computed “financial need” or your “cost of attendance”, it may be necessary for the Office of Student Aid to make adjustments to your previously awarded aid sources.

In order to receive the scholarship, you must be enrolled as a full-time student in good academic standing at the Pennsylvania State University. If you are planning to be on internship, are registered for less than 12 total credits, or if you are studying abroad through a non-Penn State program, your scholarship funds will be forfeited and awarded to another deserving student. It is your responsibility to notify our office of your change in enrollment.

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