URI honors Gandhi essay contest winners

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KINGSTON, R.I. – May 8, 2015 – Megan Miranda, an eighth grader from Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket won first place in the fifth annual 8th Grade Gandhi Essay Contest sponsored by the Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.


Winning 8th grade essayists and community service activists were recognized during a recent award ceremony held in the URI Multicultural Center.


The essays offered personal reflections on a quote from Gandhi the famed Indian nonviolent activist. Students were asked to explain what the quote, “if we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children,” means to them.

The contest received 159 entries from eighth graders at 15 public and private schools. While 22 of the top 159 essayists were recognized, the top three were presented with cash prizes.


Jessica Rogers from Burrillville Middle School, and George Saban Jr., from Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School in North Providence were awarded with second place. Third place was awarded to Atticus Duncan of Narragansett Pier Middle School.


In addition, the Gandhi Compassionate and Selfless Service award was presented to four 8th graders who, in the last year, exemplified admirable youthful idealism through compassionate activities that benefited their school and community members. Students were nominated by their teachers and counselors for their service to others in their schools and communities and their excellent character.


Hailey Chapman from Tiverton Middle School, Patrick Him from Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Jillian Brosofsky from Nathan Bishop Middle School, and Mercedes Otero from Segue Institute for Learning all received the award.


URI Gandhi Essay Contest Finalists 2014:

Megan Miranda, Mount St. Charles Academy, Woonsocket

Olivia Charbonneau, Mount St. Charles Academy
Jordan Remillard, Mount St. Charles Academy

Rachel Mercier, Mount St. Charles Academy

Andrew Goyette, Mount St. Charles Academy

Gianna Crispino, Mount St. Charles Academy

Jessica Rogers, Burrillville Middle School, Harrisville

George Saban Jr., Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School, North Providence

Atticus Duncan, Narragansett Pier Middle School

Maia Johnson, Narragansett Pier Middle School

Owen McCadden, Narragansett Pier Middle School

Grace St. Jean, Narragansett Pier Middle School

Isabel Chamberlain, Narragansett Pier Middle School

Teddy Anderson, St. Michael’s Country Day School, Newport

Mason Savaria, Winman Junior High School, Warwick

Elise Sacoccia, Winman Junior High School

Marissa Stern, Winman Junior High School

Alyssa O’Keefe, Winman Junior High School

Hannah Tillotson, Winman Junior High School

Riya Sen, Archie R. Cole Middle School, East Greenwich

Alexandra Lee, Archie R. Cole Middle School

Dante A’Vant, Sacred Heart School, Providence


Gandhi Award for Compassion and Selfless Service


Hailey Chapman, Tiverton Middle School, Tiverton

Patrick Him, Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Providence

Jillian Brosofsky, Nathan Bishop Middle School, Providence

Mercedes Otero, Segue Institute for Learning, Central Falls


This release was written by Caitlin Musselman, a URI Marketing and Communications intern and a public relations and political science major.


Pictured Above:


First place winner Megan Miranda from Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket.


Second place winner George Saban Jr. from Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School in North Providence.


Second place winner Jessica Rogers from Burrillville Middle School in Harrisville.


Third place winner Atticus Duncan from Narragansett Pier Middle School in Narragansett.


Posing with each winner is URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies Director Paul Bueno de Mesquita and professor of psychology.


Photos by Mike Salerno Photography