Three Students Win Awards in the 2024 Junior Scholastic Eyewitness to History Contest

pgodbole  //  Apr 16, 2024

Three Students Win Awards in the 2024 Junior Scholastic Eyewitness to History Contest

For the past 13 years, Junior Scholastic®, a social studies magazine for students in grades 6–8, has presented the Eyewitness to History contest. The contest encourages students to connect with members of their community and interview people who have experienced historic events in person.

Kira Shim, 7th grade, Tenafly Middle School, Tenafly, NJ: Grand-Prize Winner

Kira interviewed her uncle, Sung Yim, about his experience surviving the terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. Her entry, “A Day Like No Other,” portrays the courage and resilience shown by New Yorkers in the face of a tragedy unlike any other. Yim describes the initial confusion he felt when he saw smoke pouring out of one of the Twin Towers when the first plane hit. His confusion transitioned to fear when the second impact shook his office building on its foundation. Yim poignantly recalls how his main focus was getting his fiancée—who also worked nearby—to safety, and helping others along the way.  

For her grand-prize-winning piece, Kira and her teacher, Christine Phommathep, will each receive $250. You can read Kira’s interview with Yim in the May 2024 issue of Junior Scholastic and online, here.

Junior Scholastic also selected two runners-up from among the 165 total entries to this year's Eyewitness to History contest. They are:  

Austin Zgoda, 8th grade, Hasbrouck Heights Middle School, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

Austin interviewed Frederick Dammont about his experience as a Polish teen sent to a Soviet gulag during World War II. Austin will receive $50 for his powerful work. His teacher is Elizabeth McGinty.

Veronika Wang, 8th grade, Dover Sherborn Middle School, Dover, MA

Veronika interviewed Zhou Fengsuo about his experiences as a pro-democracy activist during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, China. Veronika will receive $50 for her detailed account. Her teacher is Kim Phelan.

Congratulations to Kira, Austin, Veronika, their teachers, and all of this year’s contest participants. Thank you also to the interviewees who shared their inspiring experiences. Stay tuned for more details about next year’s Eyewitness to History contest in Junior Scholastic coming this fall.