Covelli Enterprises, the nation’s largest franchisee of Panera Bread restaurants, announced the winners of its Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Contest and Leadership Award honorees in partnership with the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center.
The review committee read 45 entries from high school students throughout the Pittsburgh region, selecting an essay called, “An Open Letter,” written by Daviona Clemmons, a sophomore at University Preparatory Academy, as the first place winner in the writing contest.
“The committee found it challenging to select only three winners in each category,” said K. Chase Patterson of Corporate Diversity Associates, who organized the event.
Sam Covelli, president of Covelli Enterprises, said he is happy that his company sponsors the Martin Luther King contests because it is important to maintain awareness of the issues for which the civil rights leader devoted his life.
“We have accomplished much since Dr. King’s death, and so many of those great strides are a result of the same type of passion and energy that we see in these honorees. We believe that their work will serve as an inspiration to their classmates, parents, teachers and communities,” Covelli said.
The awards presentations and reading took place Jan. 16, during a breakfast reception at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center, located at 1852 Enoch St., in the Hill District.
Winners of the writing contest received cash prizes ranging from $125 to $500 and Panera Bread gift cards.
1st Place: Daviona Clemons, 10th Grade, University Preparatory Academy— “An Open Letter”
2nd Place: Johnté Jackson-Thomas, 8th Grade, Falk Laboratory—”The Time is Always Right to do What is Right”
3rd Place: Frank Smart, 10th Grade, University Preparatory Academy—”Where Has the Time Gone?”
LEADERSHIP AWARD HONOREES:
Amir Hutchins—11th Grade—University Prep.;
Rashawn Edmundson—12th Grade—Barack Obama Academy;
Damon Peters—University Prep.;
Terrell Coleman—6th Grade—University Prep.; and
Denay Clemons—9th Grade—University Prep
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