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Lifting Up Westchester announces annual student essay competition


Lifting Up Westchester, a non-profit agency committed to helping homeless and hungry people become self-sufficient, announces its sixth annual essay contest for high school students. Open to all students attending Westchester School in Years 7-12, this year students are asked to reflect on the connections and misperceptions about mental health and homelessness and how we could end the stigma attached to both.
The essay contest was created in 2017 in memory of Beth Massey Rubens, a lifelong teacher, tutor and mentor who loved the language arts.

Mental health impacts how we think, feel and act and how we cope with life. Mental health also influences how we deal with stress, interact with others and make choices. Did you know that family illnesses, job loss, divorce, poor school performance, bullying, hunger, poor housing conditions and being homeless are just some of the things that can trigger mental health problems? This can lead to emotions such as anxiety, depression, or loneliness.

“There are a lot of stigmas and stereotypes attached to people facing both mental health issues and homelessness,” said Anahaita Kotval, CEO of Lifting Up Westchester. “For example, there is a myth that mental health issues are the main reason people become homeless. We hope this contest will help students better understand both issues and share their thoughts on how we can better educate ourselves and work towards a better future for all.

Cash prizes for first, second and third place will be awarded in each of the three grade groups: Grades 7 and 8, Grades 9 and 10, and Grades 11 and 12. An ESL category has also been established and any student in grades 7-12 can choose to enter the ESL category. First prize in each category is $500, second prize is $250 and third prize is $100.

The competition begins on November 1, 2022 and students can participate until February 17, 2023 at 5 p.m. Students can participate in the competition via this dedicated portal and upload their essays here. The winners will be announced in early March 2023 and an awards ceremony will take place on March 26. Students, teachers and parents can learn more about how the contest works and review the process and judging criteria by visiting the Lifting Up Westchester website.

About Lifting Up Westchester

Raising Westchester (www.liftingupwestchester.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to bring hope to needy men, women and children in Westchester County by providing food, shelter and support, bringing them to a greater autonomy with dignity and respect. It is one of the largest social service agencies in Westchester County and has fulfilled its mission since 1979 through the operation of eight community programs. The agency serves 2,500 men, women and children each year and provides 100,000 meals to hungry people, 21,000 nights of shelter to homeless people, as well as academic enrichment and support to 450 youth in need. homelessness and extreme poverty.

For more information on Lifting Up Westchester, visit www.liftingupwestchester.org or contact Lauren Candela-Katz at [email protected] or (914) 949-3098 ext. 9737.

This is a press release provided by the organization. It has been slightly edited and is published by Examiner Media as a public service.

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