'Do the Write Thing' essay contest sends 2 students to D.C. - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Do the Write Thing' essay contest sends 2 students to D.C.

Nancy Guandique and Justin Baker take their photo with Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. (Source: Guandique, Baker) Nancy Guandique and Justin Baker take their photo with Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. (Source: Guandique, Baker)
Nancy Guandique (Source: WMC Action News 5) Nancy Guandique (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Justin Baker (Source: WMC Action News 5) Justin Baker (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

An essay contest sent two deserving Shelby County Schools students to Washington, D.C. on an all-expense paid trip for five days, giving them the unique opportunity to talk about Memphis in the nation's capital. 

Selected from 46 finalists across the country, Nancy Guandique and Justin Baker toured the Washington Monument and met other ambassadors from around the country, as well as local political leaders.

The trip was sponsored by Kuwait America Foundation in partnership with Shelby County District Attorney’s Office as part of National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence (NCSV).

"It was a great and very rewarding trip," said Megan Pietrowski, special assistant to the district attorney. "I really would like to concentrate on expanding the program because we only had 23 middle schools to participate this year and we have so many more in the city that I would really like for them to get involved."

Guandique's essay was about the devastation of having a close friend killed in a drive-by shooting.

"It was really hard to accept that we lost a friend," she explained.

Baker wrote about putting an end to bullying.

"It focused on harassment. People called me bad things; I just got used to it," he admitted.

The students said the trip positively changed their lives and they plan to use their experiences to make an impact on youth in Memphis.

"I I try to make it every day and try to improve that every day," said Guandique.

"People are afraid to speak. We can't have that. We need them to speak out more," added Baker.

This is the 10th year the essay contest has been held in Memphis.

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