Three students recognized in Junior Scholastic Magazine’s “Eyewitness to History” contest!

Guest Blogger  //  May 3, 2017

Three students recognized in Junior Scholastic Magazine’s “Eyewitness to History” contest!

Today we welcome Jane Nussbaum, Executive Editor from Junior Scholastic, to the blog. Below, Jane shares some exciting news Junior Scholastic's Eyewitness to History Contest. Thank you, Jane! 

History isn’t just found in textbooks. Some of the most fascinating stories about our past come from people we know. Each year, Junior Scholastic, the news and social studies magazine for middle school students, highlights this important lesson with our Eyewitness to History contest. This competition asks students to interview someone who has experienced a historic event in person. It’s an incredible way for young people to get a sense of time and place not found in textbooks—and to connect with people in their communities.

We received hundreds of entries this winter for our fifth-annual contest from students all across the country. Our editors spent weeks carefully reviewing each interview and today, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the grand prize winner and two runners up!

Ava Ng, an 8th grade student at South Park Middle School in South Park, Pennsylvania, is our grand prize winner. She interviewed her mother, Shelly Ng, about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, in which China’s leaders ordered a violent crackdown against peaceful demonstrators, most of them students. 

The first runner-up is Alessandra Minin, a 5th grader atHighland Elementary School in Skokie, Illinois. Alessandra’s entry featured a fascinating conversation with her father, Yury Minin, about growing up in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Both Ava and Alessandra’s interviews were published in the April 24, 2017 issue of Junior Scholastic, and can be viewed at

The  second runner-up is Brooke Dagefoerde, an 8th grade student at Roscoe Middle School in Roscoe, Illinois. She conducted a detailed interview with her uncle, Kyriacos Aristotelous, about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, in which Turkey took 35 percent of the territory of northern Cyprus. Her uncle was living in Cyprus at the time of the attack. A full transcript of her interview is available online to Junior Scholastic subscribers.

Congratulations to Ava and her teacher, Jim Levdansky, Alessandra and her teacher, Jennifer Greene, and Brooke and her teacher Tricia DuPre! Finally, a huge thank you to all of the students who entered our contest—as well as the interviewees who graciously shared their personal histories!