He loves cheering on the Chicago Bulls, chowing down at Monical's Pizza and swimming laps at Unit 4 pool as a member of Centennial High's boys' swim team. But 18-year-old Eunsik Na is best known today for his five-page essay on Martin Luther King Jr. It took two months for the future college engineering student to write but it was time well spent — he was the lone Unit 4 high school winner in the 12th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest.
The topic hit home for Na, who moved to Champaign from South Korea in 2007.
"Since I am an immigrant, I felt struggles, too, when I first came here," he said Friday. "I kind of felt discriminated because I was an Asian with mostly white students. They tried to make racial jokes about Asians." The focus of Na's essay was that "different races and different colors shouldn't lead to separation."
"It's much better today, there is much improvement," he said. "But yet still there is a part to work on."
Other Unit 4 winners who will be recognized at a Jan. 25 ceremony at Krannert Center.
Delaney Scofield Booker T. Washington
Jai'Priy Khahyil-Aynn Perry Booker T. Washington
Odella Louise Fuqua Booker T. Washington
Keshav Rajul Gandhi Dr. Howard
Muntaha Islam Dr. Howard
Bethany Wyss Robeson
Ella Parastaran Robeson
Reese Phillips Robeson
Ella Greer Stratton
Jeehye Choi Stratton
Lucia Moss Stratton
Rowan Abzug Stratton
Middle School Winners
Brian Tien LeMay Jefferson
Carter Austin Oye Jefferson
Desirea Renee DeVon Jones Jefferson
Erin McConkey Jefferson
Hayley M. Markou Jefferson
Luke Burac Matias Jefferson
Lyric Ashone Newbern Jefferson