High school student wins essay contest on "Why Character Matters"

November 16, 2017
Fatima Menawa accepts BestPrep award
Fatima Menawa of Stillwater Area High School was honored at BestPrep’s Educational Forum as a winner of a statewide essay competition based on former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and NFL Hall of Famer Alan Page’s keynote address, “Tomorrow’s Leaders… Why Character Matters.”
 
Thomson Reuters and BestPrep co-sponsor the essay competition. Fatima was present with other top 20 students who were recognized from more than 400 essay
submissions. These essay winners were invited to a private reception with Justice Page at the Educational Forum in St. Paul. The students could meet Justice Page and participate in a question and answer session with him.
 
The students’ essays reflected on the role of character development in their education by considering the Martin Luther King quote “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Students responded to the question prompts of “Why is it important for students to develop their character alongside academics?” and “How has your educational journey and life experiences developed your character?”
 
When asked about the role of character development in her education, Fatima wrote “Character is the root of everything. A person's belief and morals are what drives them through life and gives them a purpose. A purpose, a conviction can do so much in the way of success and how a person contributes to society.”
 
Essays were read and judged by a panel of business and education volunteers for quality and creativity.
 
“Our judges were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the essays,” said Bob Kaitz, President and CEO of BestPrep. “The ideas and insights the students shared offer much hope for the future of Minnesota and the world.”
 
The awards presentation was part of BestPrep’s Educational Forum, which featured a dinner address from Justice Page for nearly 700 business professionals and an on-stage dialogue between Justice Page and Ecolab Chairman & CEO Doug Baker, emceed by WCCO anchor Jason DeRusha.