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If you were asked to write about a woman who inspires you, who would you write about? What would you say about her?
That is what the participants of the “Women’s Day Essay Competition” came to write about on April 6th, 2018, at AUA’s Math and Writing Center, although, of course, they didn’t know about the prompt beforehand.
The essays were sincere and personal, whether the students wrote about a famous person or someone close to them. Each story, experience, and perspective described in the essays was a reflection of the unique person who wrote it, revealing what its writer values, admires, and is inspired by.
The winning essay, written by Margo Sargsyan, a 3rd-year English & Communications student, was about the writer’s “Ma,” who, the reader later on finds out, is what she calls her grandmother. Although her grandmother lost her sight, “her inner life became the compass of her life,” and through her example, the writer knows that it is indeed possible to keep on living even when you are walking, eating, laughing, crying, and forgiving in the dark.
Sona Baldrian, a 4th-year student from the BA Business program, won the second place. She wrote about her role model Hilary Clinton, who inspires her with her persistence in her field despite the sexist comments she receives about how she should “stay at home and bake cookies,” her fearlessness in fighting for the causes she believes in, and her great knowledge and preparedness, which help her to break through the “glass ceilings” that often exist for women in their careers.
Interestingly, both of the third place winners also wrote about their grandmothers. Nvard Melkonyan, a 2nd-year English & Communications student, told the incredible story of her grandmother, who endured the escape from the Sumgait massacres, the cold treatment of the people and the harsh living conditions in Armenia, and still managed to be “the one on whose shoulder everyone would cry,” someone who gave up her portion of food for her family members, and someone who gives happiness to everyone around her. She is not a victim in the writer’s eyes, but an example of a strong and courageous leader.
A 2nd-year English & Communications student Laura Hovakimyan’s grandmother inspires her in all areas of her life: in her education, her role as a daughter, and her character as a human being in general. Her grandmother shined in school and was a wonderful daughter who took care of her mother while “burning the midnight oil” to study. She is a “human encyclopedia” and is always ready to run to the aid of anyone who needs her, whether a family member or a complete stranger. If anything, Hovakimyan wishes to become like her.
These were only a few among all the deep and interesting essays that were composed during the competition. The award ceremony took place on May 8th. The winners were announced and awarded as follows:
- 1st place: certificate, prize, and publication of the essay in the Bridge newspaper
- 2nd place: certificate
- 3rd place: certificate
This writing competition was one among the many yet to come, all of which, hopefully, encourage students to put themselves out there and express their unique thoughts, perspectives, and experiences on paper.
The first winner’s essay has been published here: