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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

Thursday, May 12, 2016

U.S. Attorney Announces Winners Of The First Annual “Do The Write Thing Challenge" In Asheville

The Two Winners Will Represent Their School Districts as National Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. –  U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced the two essay contest winners of the First Annual “Do the Write Thing Challenge” (DtWT) during an awards ceremony held this evening at The Crest Center in Asheville.  This is the first year Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools have participated in the writing challenge.

The “Do the Write Thing Challenge” is a program of the National Campaign to Stop Violence.  Each year, participating 6th, 7th and 8th grade students are challenged to examine and write about the impact of youth violence in their lives, to come up with solutions and ways to address and change the culture of violence, and to make a personal commitment to stand against violence. 

A total of 341 essays from both school districts were submitted for consideration.  The essays of twelve students were selected and the finalists were honored at this evening’s ceremony.  Rontae Harper, a 6th grader with Asheville City Schools and Jordan Gillespie a 7th grader with Buncombe County Schools, were announced as this year’s winners of the DtWT Challenge.

As DtWT National Ambassadors, Rontae and Jordan, their parents/guardians and the teachers who submitted their essays will be invited to participate in the “Do the Write Thing Challenge National Recognition Week” in Washington, D.C.  During this all-expense-paid trip, the students will have an opportunity to meet their elected representatives, visit national monuments and have their works placed in the Library of Congress. 

Speaking at today’s event, U.S. Attorney Rose congratulated the two winners and the finalists for their accomplishments.  She also thanked all the participants of the writing contest, noting that all the students who submitted essays have taken an important first step against violence. 

“One of the priorities of the Department of Justice is to reduce violent crime.  Those of us in law enforcement, whether state, local or federal, acknowledge that prevention is crucial in reducing violent crime in our neighborhoods.  Community involvement and community commitment are critical and the voices and ideas of our youth in these preventive efforts must be encouraged.  ‘Do the Write Thing’ does just that and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is thrilled to be a partner in this program.” said U.S. Attorney Rose who chairs the DtWT committee.

U.S. Attorney Rose also thanked and recognized the Asheville City Schools, the Buncombe City Schools, the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, the Asheville Housing Authority and the community organization Changing Together for partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to form the committee. 

For more information on the National “Do the Write Thing Challenge” program please visit http://www.dtwt.org.


Updated May 16, 2016