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2 win Saipan College Prep Academy essay writing contest

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MARIANAS High School student Catherine Byen and Mount Carmel School student Victoria Nicole Santos topped the Saipan College Prep Academy essay writing contest.

An awards ceremony was held on Friday in the office of the academy at Brother’s Acupuncture Building on Middle Road in Gualo Rai.

According to Saipan College Prep Academy or SCPA head and essay instructor Keith Tessen, the students had to write an essay on environmental activist Greta Thurnberg’s statement that “climate change is the single most important issue facing the world today.”

In her essay, Byen said climate change does not impact a specific group but everyone.

She said taking the essay writing course at SCPA boosted her confidence in her writing.

She added that she also developed an attitude of putting more effort in her writing task.

For her part, Santos said her essay focused on the “evidence of climate change in the past and present and how it can affect the world in the future.”

Santos was the winner in the non-SCPA category, which is for non-SCPA members.

From left, Catherine Byen, Seung Ju Lee, James Park, Cevina Hwang, Victoria Nicole Santos, Jinju Thompson, and Saipan College Prep Academy essay instructor Keith Tessen.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

The other SCPA winners were James Park who finished second; and Seung Ju Lee and Jinju Thompson who tied for third.

The other non-SCPA winners were Cevina Hwang who placed second and Juan Ada who finished third.

For both categories, the first place winners received $500 each; second place, $250; and third place, $125.

Tessen said SCPA “is designed to help students get into college.”

The academy, he added, is grateful for the support it has been getting from the community since it was established two years ago.

“We wanted to give back to the community and so we thought of an essay writing competition for SCPA members and non-members,” he said.

The academy “emphasizes that in college, you are going to be writing a lot of essays,” he added. “You will read a lot and write a lot, that is why we have reading and writing courses.”

Tessen, who has been a college counselor for 15 years now, said the students who participated in the essay writing contest “are clearly at a level of writing that indicates they are ready for college.”

SCPA is for high school students interested in developing their writing skills. For more information, call 235-1066 or 285-1669.

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