A student at West Valley High School and a recent graduate of Whitman College are the winners of an essay contest held in conjunction with the inaugural Justice William O. Douglas Award and Banquet.
The Yakima Valley Museum sponsored an essay competition for area college and high school students on an aspect of Douglas’ legacy. Participants chose from three essay prompts — use of public lands, social justice implications of man-made climate change or the importance of outdoor education and environmental learning.
Isabela de la Combe of West Valley High was the $1,000 first-place winner of the high school awards for her essay, which focused on climate change, according to a news release. The second-place $750 award went to Cara Pedrosa of Davis High School and the $500 third-place honor went to Mary Frances Ballew of Selah High School. Natalie Keller of Selah High received $100 fourth-place honors.
Fisher Munro, a recent graduate of Douglas’ alma mater Whitman College, was the $1,000 first-place winner of the college awards for his essay on social justice implications of man-made climate change. Molly Matson, a sophomore at Central Washington University, received $750 second-place honors.
Munro and de la Combe will be honored Oct. 22 during the museum’s Red Into Black gala, a digital event this year. They also will be honored guests at the 2021 William O. Douglas Award Banquet, which is scheduled for Aug. 28, 2021.
See their winning essays and more information on the William O. Douglas Award on the museum’s website at www.yvmuseum.org/william-o-douglas-award.
The contest was co-sponsored by museum partners Whitman College, Central Washington University Douglas Honors College, Pacific Northwest University, Yakima Valley College, Yakima Public Schools and Educational Service District 105.