Essay topic hit home for winning writer


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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