Tohickon Student Wins Grand Prize in Essay Contest


We’re so proud of Claire Cao of Tohickon Middle School in Central Bucks for being the grand prize winner of a national essay contest and taking home the $5,000 Upstander Scholarship. Her insightful essay, entitled “Speak Up,” recounts her experience in standing up for another Chinese American girl who was being excluded from play because she looked different from the other children.

The words, “Speak up” against injustice prompted her to intervene and she explained, “A good person is one who does the right thing, but being different doesn’t make someone bad.” She said those words as she invited the girl to play with her.

The contest was sponsored by the Facing History and Ourselves non-profit that aims “to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.”

Learn more and read Claire’s thoughtful and impressive essay about the incident inspired by the Japanese-American man who uttered those words as he fought for his people’s civil liberties at the start of World War II.