LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Paul Laurence Dunbar High School senior received a statewide leadership award and Morton Middle School students swept a local MLK essay contest.
Dunbar senior Merise Mwambayi received a 2018 Youth Leadership Award at an event in Frankfort that celebrated the spirit of a civil rights icon. The Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission also saluted another student and two adults who embody King’s life and work.
Merise was commended for serving his community by mentoring elementary students and for participating in Transylvania University’s Pathways Program. Active in clubs at Dunbar, he also enhances his own school by encouraging classmates to do their best. In addition, Merise is active in his local youth group and volunteers through his church to pack meals for Haitians.
Meanwhile in Fayette County, students from Morton Middle School swept the 2018 Unity Breakfast essay contest, which honors King’s legacy. Grayson Kemplin took first place, expounding on the theme “Unity: Peace through Non-Violence.” Grayson, who received a $500 prize, read his entry aloud during and MLK Day event at the Lexington Center. Morton’s Sophia Rinker earned second place ($300 award), and Sara Anderlich took third ($100).
More than 100 students entered the essay contest, which is open to students in all Fayette County middle schools.