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Listen to Bloomington’s Black History Essay Contest winners for 2023

The 2023 winners of the City of Bloomington's Black History Essay Contest.
Charlie Schlenker
/
WGLT
The 2023 winners of the City of Bloomington's Black History Essay Contest.

Some of Bloomington’s brightest young minds are featured in this year’s group of Black History Essay Contest winners.

The City of Bloomington sponsors the Black History Essay Contest to encourage youth and community engagement and cultural awareness. This year’s theme is one that speaks to the resilience of a people who utilized some of their most valuable assets to break through societal barriers. Competitors would submit works that honor Black entertainers, artists, writers, justices, activists, leaders and visionaries.

WGLT recorded the winners reading their essays and are broadcasting them periodically this spring on WGLT’s newsmagazine Sound Ideas. You can hear them below:

Madison Hawkins, sophomore at Normal Community High School and the third-place winner in the high school category.

Marisaul Hunt, junior at Bloomington High School and the first-place winner of the high school category.

Talise Lopez, student at Washington Elementary School and the third-place winner of the elementary school category.

Charlie Faulkner, junior at Normal Community High School and the second-place winner of the high school category.

Ameriona Reed, student at Evans Junior High School and the third-place winner of the junior high school category.

Aahliya Mohapatra, student at Chiddix Junior High School and the second-place winner of the middle school category.

Jaylen Raab, student at Bloomington Junior High and the first-place winner in the middle school category.

Kelsey Kokotek, student at Washington Elementary School and the first-place winner of the elementary school category.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.