Thank you to the 674 teenagers who participated in the fourth week of our 10-week Summer Reading Contest, and congratulations to Clara Choi, our winner, as well as to our many runners-up and honorable mentions.
Scroll down to take a look at the variety of topics — from migrant detention centers and ancient greek philosophy to a new NASA drone mission and sleep paralysis photography — that caught the eyes of our participants this week. You can find the work of all our winners since 2017 in this column.
And please remember to always check the top of our contest announcement to find the right place to participate, any week from now until Aug. 23.
Clara Choi from New York, N.Y., chose an article headlined “For Hong Kong’s Youth, Protests Are ‘a Matter of Life and Death’” and wrote:
I was in sixth grade when I first witnessed the enduring strain between Hong Kong and China. For months, my face was pressed against the bus window as a sea of Hong Kongers pounded their fists and yellow umbrellas, screaming for their democratic rights. As our school bus trudged stiffly through the protest barricades and crushed empty tear gas canisters, our 30-minute bus ride soon became three hours.
Current protests against the extradition bill, however, mark a pivotal turning point in Hong Kong’s fight against China’s pro-communist ambitions. Rather than those Hong Kongers who have memories of life under British rule, it is Hong Kong’s youth who provoke immense political and social tension to protect their future from communism’s trickling influence.
Mike Ives and Katherine Li highlight not only the political but also the cultural implications the passing of the extradition bill will have on the future of Hong Kong’s autonomy as a Special Administrative Region. Through their accounts of teenagers who brave the rubber bullets and boiling streets in absolute determination, I have come to realize what the extradition bill means to me. It goes beyond being prosecuted in the mainland; it advances the erosion of our civil liberties and ultimately the deterioration of Hong Kong’s culture. We only need to look at immense police brutality to notice China’s seeping influence on Hong Kong’s “democratic” government.
Gloria on “I’ve Picked My Job Over My Kids”
GoBlue20JulietteVemmer on “A School With No Heat or Computers but Many College-Bound Students. Mostly Girls.”