WASHINGTON, D.C. – With an essay on climate change, Olivia Dalke, a junior at Dallas (Ore.) High School and a member of Salem (Ore.) Mennonite Church, earned the grand prize of $1,000 in an essay contest sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. Washington Office.
In “A Tangible Gospel: The Case for Decisive Action in Response to Global Climate Change,” Dalke analyzed the global implications for climate change, as well as an Anabaptist response to the ongoing crisis.
Dalke noted that the “significant rise in global temperature has caused more frequent and serious natural disasters that have affected a huge number of vulnerable communities around the world.”
Some of the other dangers posed by climate change, such as “droughts in areas of the U.S. (like California) and other parts of the world (like Zimbabwe), are becoming more frequent and their duration longer.”
In addition to her cash prize, Dalke will have the opportunity to share her perspective on climate change with elected officials, accompanied by MCC staff.
National honorable mention prizes of $500 each were awarded to Nick Schrock, a senior at Bethany Christian High School, Goshen, Ind.; Andre Eanes, a senior at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Va.; and Ryan Haggerty, a senior at Freeman (S.D.) Academy.
Haggerty focused on the militarization of police forces in the U.S., while Schrock detailed the many challenges that people returning to society from prison face. Eanes focused on climate change.
The essay contest highlights the perspectives of youth on significant public policy issues and promotes the involvement of young people in faithful witness to government authorities.
The annual contest is open to Anabaptist youth of high school age and to all youth who attend Mennonite high schools. Entries are judged on the participants’ understanding of the issues, clarity of argument and degree of creativity in crafting thoughtful policy positions.
The full essay can be found online, https://washingtonmemo.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/2016-overall-winner-e.pdf