Milton college students win Human and Civil Rights awards

Just before schools closed in March 2020, Mariner Middle teacher Amanda Kilby encouraged students to take part in a competition that focused on human and civil rights.

The 2020 annual human and civil rights competition sponsored by the Delaware State Education Association was open to elementary through high school students in the writing, arts, and digital media categories under a Make the World a Better Place theme.

“I collected your work before March 13, 2020 and sent it to the DSEA Dover office,” said Kilby. “I only heard about the competition on Friday, February 26th, with great news that five of Mariners students had entered the competition.”

Milton students won the writing category: Topacio Pulido San Juan won first, Jesus Reyes-Soto won second, and Dylenn Enright won third.

Topacio said he wanted to raise awareness of the little-known people who played a huge role during the civil rights movement.

“I also found the stories of certain people, like Pauli Murray, interesting,” said Topacio. “Murray not only struggled with her skin color, but also with her sexuality and gender.”

Jesus said he wrote a story that he hoped would capture the same feelings that Milton-born and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson felt.

“In a way, competition wasn’t my main concern to write this paper,” Jesus said. “It should educate people around the world about the injustice of many different people around the world, and the past year has shown us too.”

In the Art category, Carla Davis won second place and Kaylee Monturano took third. Carla has since moved to Maryland, but Kaylee said civil rights mean that regardless of someone’s race, they should be given the same privileges as everyone else.

“Just because you’re African American, Asian, etc, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to do something a white man / woman can,” Kaylee said. “I made this work of art because it shows that the two beings are the same regardless of the color of their skin. Both sides of the man are human. Nothing is different than the color of the skin. “

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