Autobody Hawai’i Names 2016 Scholarship Winner

May 17, 2016, 7:59 AM HST
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Photo courtesy of Auto Body Hawai'i.

Photo courtesy of Auto Body Hawai’i.

Autobody Hawai’i has named its 2016 Student Essay winner.

Konawaena High School senior Simon Ellis won a $1,000 cash prize with his essay, titled “Eclectic Election.”

In his essay, Ellis discussed how the current presidential race is generating a conversation amongst teens through social media and its potential impact on topics of teens’ interests.

Ellis decided not to write about a particular party, but rather more than ever, teens are actively getting involved in the political arena and how their involvement can make a difference.

The 2016 theme asked students to explore what current events teens in Hawai’i are most passionate about and the reasons why.


Below is an excerpt of Ellis’ essay:


“In school, it has never been uncommon for students to discuss politics in Social Studies and History classes.  These days it’s not uncommon for students to discuss them electively in their free time.  The lunch room talk has moved away from “who’s her boyfriend” to “what is her stance on foreign policy.” I think that one reason teens are so much more involved in the democratic process this year in particular is that social media gives us the ability to discuss the issues like never before. Not only do we talk about current events at school, but we can also talk about them at home and immediately voice our ideas to the rest of the world.  This open dialogue is not only attractive to teens who want to have their voices heard, but also to those of us who want to learn more and see other people’s point of view.”

Each Spring, Autobody Hawai’i opens up its essay contest to high school seniors on the Big Island, who vie through essays for a $1,000 cash prize.

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