Gooden Student Ethan Stein Wins Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Gooden School is proud to announce that eighth-grade student Ethan Stein was selected by the Martin Luther King Community Coalition as the Middle School winner in the Martin Luther King Community Coalition Essay Contest, held annually in Pasadena since 1983.

This year’s contest theme challenge was: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a better America for all people. What is your dream for the country?”

“I have a dream, I have a dream that one day in this country, that I love so much, one will not be judged by their beliefs or by the color of their skin. Sadly, it is only still a dream right now… This isn’t just an opinion. I’ve experienced prejudice personally. I know I have been judged for being Jewish.” Ethan wrote. “Everyday, we have the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life. With every opportunity we can choose to judge them on the basis of who they are.”

“We are so very proud of Ethan,” said Patty Patano, Head of School. “Ethan’s words and actions embody The Gooden School motto: ‘Respect for self, respect for others and respect for the world.” Ethan’s essay also reflects values inherent in all areas of education at Gooden, an Independent Episcopal school in Sierra Madre.

This is the second consecutive year that a student from The Gooden School has won the essay contest in the Middle School category. Natalie Brown, a current 7th grade student was last year’s winner.

Ethan received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition by Congressional Representative Judy Chu, stating:

“In recognition of your high standards of excellence and outstanding achievements: Your essay is a true reflection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring vision. Heartfelt congratulations on being the Middle School winner of this year’s Martin Luther King Essay Contest and best wishes in your future endeavors!”

For more than 16 years, Gooden students have participated in the essay contest, as an assignment in English class. Student essays are judged on creativity, organization and development of the theme.

Click here to view the winning essay by Ethan Stein.

Winners were announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 19, when the City of Pasadena, Congressional Representative Judy Chu’s office and other area organizations hosted a celebration of Dr. King’s birthday at Robinson Park in Pasadena.

The Gooden School is an independent Episcopal school, kindergarten through eighth grade, in Sierra Madre, where academics and the arts come together. Graduates are accepted by many of the finest high schools and universities.


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