Poetry contest

Poster, Essay, Poetry Contest Winners

GREEN BAY — The winners of the Brown County MLK Celebration poster and creative writing contest were announced Saturday at the 27th annual event honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

K-12 students from Brown County and Oneida Nation schools were invited to enter the contest by submitting an illustration, creative writing or story on this year’s theme “The People’s March Continues …”

The phrase “pays homage to the struggles of the past while reflecting on the importance of creating a more just and harmonious society,” according to a press release from the Brown County MLK Celebration Committee.

The first place entries from each quality group are below and a list of second and third place and honorable mentions, as well as some of the posters.

From 10th to 12th grade

First place: Lakshman Mallela, Ashwaubenon High School, poem.



while speaking


to be

Our Freedom.


Taken for granted



we can’t forget

the unforgettable

their march for freedom

(we are) their legacy

We continue to honor the past

We continue for the future

our protest

our fight

our walk

As a people we will march

Until the change is made

And freedom is set free

Second place: Aidan Irvin, John Dewey Academy of Learning, Green Bay School District, poster.

Third place: Joseph Stumpf, Notre-Dame Academy, poem

Honorable mentions:

  • Nora Oleniczak, Green Bay Preble High School, essay.
  • Cara Sohee Wreen, Bay Port High School, trial.
  • Emily Bruss, Pulaski High School, essay.

From 7th to 9th grade

First place: Eric N. Gichobi, De Pere Middle School, poem.

“The Walk”

I saw the march.

The beginning of a movement, of a dream. A quarter of a million people walked Constitution and Independence Avenue, the roads that called for equality.

I saw the march.

The hands of whites and blacks, men and women, children and adults, citizens and celebrities, united by the same ideals.

I saw the march.

Together they stood on the memorial of one who had rooted for their freedom, but they were still not free.

I saw the march.

There, a man shared his dream, a dream he wanted to see come true in his lifetime.

I saw the march.

The Chicago Open Housing Movement, led by Dr. King and other leaders, fought for the right to be properly employed and housed.

I saw the march.

The Montgomery bus boycott, where African Americans refused to enter public transportation for more than a year until the country’s leaders allowed equality.

I see the march.

Over the past year, in crowded cities across America, nearly 26 million people of all colors, religions and cultures have united to protest the unjust deaths of their fellow human beings.

I see the march.

Celebrities, artists, actors, social media influencers: for the voices that couldn’t be heard, they spoke.

I see the march.

The Internet has become our most formidable weapon. Millions of people post and repost, refusing to let the movement die.

I see the march.

On my neighbours’ lawns, advertisements on billboards. On signs outside buildings indicating support.

I see the march.

There are so many things I can do. For each person I talk to, I extend the march. Walking is no longer just a physical manifestation. It is a movement, a movement that must not – cannot – die.

I am walking.

I am one among many others, but I still count. Dr. King and many others started the march. It is my duty to continue walking. He is our duty to keep walking until the day when equality is routine, a day that could come after our lifetime, as it did for Malcolm and Dr. King.

But until that day, we will continue to walk. We continue to walk.

We are walking.

Second place: Charlotte Bressers, De Pere Middle School, poem.

Third place: Ana Leigh Perez, Washington Middle School, Green Bay School District, poem.

Honorable mentions:

  • Meghan Bruss, Bay View Middle School, Howard-Suamico District, poster.
  • Layla Busch-Hill, John Dewey Learning Academy, poster.
  • Keldon Burton, John Dewey Academy of Learning, essay.
Layla Busch-Hill/John Dewey Learning Academy

4th to 6th grade

First place: Zeenia K. Ahmad, Leonardo da Vinci School for Gift Learners, Green Bay District, poem.

“King’s legacy must continue…”

He is a hero, a leader and a preacher.

He walked day after day for our future.

He is the one who fought for his men.

Gathering in the streets with his clan.

For his people, he had a big dream.

That everyone is equal and great

So that no one ever falls.

Equal rights and justice will be for all.

Fight with words and not with your fists.

What he brought us is an ultimate gift.

One day this place will become a peaceful land.

This will give his life a meaningful end.

His message to us was loud and clear.

In the eyes of the Lord, we are all good and dear.

You will never be forgotten Mr. King.

Because your words will always ring out.

The march must continue.

To ensure that there is peace and harmony within you.

Second place: Amelia Thom, Foxview Intermediate School, De Pere School District, essay.

Third place: Ileana C. Pagan, Lombardi Middle School, Green Bay District, poster

Ileana C. Pagan/Lombardi College

Honorable mentions:

  • Adyson Webster, Lombardi Middle School, poster.
  • Mateo Guevara-Derber, Langlade Elementary School, Ashwaubenon School District, essay.
  • Xavier Thornton, Foxview Intermediate School, essay.

Kindergarten to 3rd grade

First place: Jusneyling Alfaro Ordonez, Tank Elementary School, Green Bay District, poster.

Jusneyling Alfaro Ordoñez Primary School/Tank

Second place: Elena Sanchez, Tank Elementary School, poster.

Third place: Emily Horn, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon District, poster.

Honorable mentions:

  • Ava Horn, Valley View Elementary School, poster.
  • Mekyle K. Ahmad, Leonardo da Vinci School for Gifted Learners, poem.
  • Jade Estrada Mora, Tank Elementary School, poster.

Contact Peter Frank at (920) 431-8311 or pfrank@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PeterFrankGB.