Episode 6: Student Voices Competition Showcase

From many voices came one clear message: This world needs us, and we are ready to step up. 

Students from across the WVXU listening area and beyond confronted the problems facing today’s politics, media, and society in the Democracy & Me 2020 Student Voices Competition.

With a colorful range of essays, poetry, audio and video pieces, visual artwork, an original song, short plays and more—40 entries in all—these 8th– to 12th-graders tackled some of our country’s toughest issues, in this cataclysmic election year, and came up with bold solutions.

This was the second year for the contest, sponsored by the Charles H. Dater Foundation, and the first in which students were encouraged to submit creative pieces as well as traditional essays. A selection of outstanding entries are published on the Democracy & Me website; this episode of “Democracy & Z” features audio versions of some entries, narrated by their creators.

First, our three scholarship winners:

Sanjay Swamy (Top Essay $1,000), William Mason H.S., “Mayonnaise: An In-Depth Look Into American Media”

Anabel Villanueva (Top Creative Entry $1,000), Walnut Hills H.S., poem “A la frontera/a la barrera”

Eliot Berberich (Runner-Up: Audio Essay $500), Talawanda H.S., “First Journalistic Truth, Then Journalistic Equality”

You’ll also hear pieces by:

Molly Rahtz, Colerain H.S., describing her acrylic painting “Liberty”

Alexa Theuerling, Clark Montessori H.S., describing her mixed-media artwork “A Call to Action”

Isa Walker, School for Creative and Performing Arts, “Democracy Reimagined”

Kara Howard, Randall K. Cooper H.S., “Black and White”

Fatou Ndiaye, Aiken H.S., “The Corona Crisis”

Seth Coppens, School for Creative and Performing Arts, “Fantasy”

Nadya Ellerhorst, Walnut Hills H.S., “Here, There, and In Between”

Sophie Saywers, Indian Hill H.S., “Revitalizing Democracy”

Isabella Zinchini, Walnut Hills H.S., performing her original song “Stuck in the Quiet”