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RICMS Student Wins Essay Award at Annual King Center Event

Juana Perez Morales, a sixth-grader at Rock Island Center for Math and Science was one of the winners of the Youth Expression Contest Awards that is a part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service and Celebration at the King Center in Rock Island. 
Ms. Morales read her essay in front of a crowd at the King Center on Monday, January 21. Homeless, gun violence and racism were the topics of her essay:
"Ladies and Gentleman, We are all gathered here for Martin Luther King, Junior. Martin Luther King, Junior did not remain silent and neither am I.
We have to help the homeless. Every day there are people begging in the streets asking for help and some of us just walk by. People sometimes walk by and make fun of them. Others steal the little that they have and the homeless people die in the streets. They die thinking they are unloved. We, the people, should help the homeless. We should protect them and help them every day. They should feel that people do care about them. We should help.
We have to stop gun violence. Every day of every hour there is shooting going on. These shootings are killing innocent people. These shootings are killing young kids every day. This gun violence must end. It is destroying lives and families. As Martin Luther King, Junior said, “Work with words, not violence.” I can see the world without gun violence. It would be a world where people can go outside and not be scared to get shot. It would be a world where parents don’t cry because their son or daughter has gotten shot. We can make this world happen if we end gun violence.
We also have to stop racism. Racism is destroying our world. People are preventing other people from what they can be because of their differences from them. People are now scared of going out. Scared that they might be accused of something because of their different features and scared they may even be deported. We have to end racism. We have to accept the people that seek a better life. We have to stop building walls to people and start to build a bridge to make peace between us. We have to end racism. I might just be a kid, but I have seen all these things. I won’t remain silent and neither should you. Go out and start changing the world. Start shaping the world like you want it. To do it, we have to start helping the homeless, stop the gun violence, and stop racism. We have to speak up. We cannot remain silent.
Thank you."
Juana Rock Island Center for Math & Science
Juana reading her essay at the King Center on Monday, Jan. 21
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