North Caroline student wins essay contest
EASTON — Three local high school students were rewarded recently for essays focusing on the Fair Housing Act which is marking its 50th anniversar y.
The contest, sponsored by the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors, invited Mid-Shore high school students to enter the contest. Students from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties answered the questions, “How has the Fair Housing Act changed renting and owning a home in America?” and “What will the next 50 years look like and how will it change our communities?”
Students were asked to write an analytical essay of 750 to 1000 words about the act. The top three winners vied for prizes of $500 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.
The 2018 winner of MSBR’s Property Rights Essay Contest is Sarah Ferkler, a rising senior at North Caroline High School in Ridgely, is the daughter of two Lockerman Middle School employees, Ann and Tom Ferkler.
Ferkler’s father found the contest and brought it to her attention. She enjoys writing, and after researching the topic she realized that she had a familial connection to the Fair Housing Act.
Ferkler said the act made the process of moving from a house to an apartment easier for her wheel chairbound grandfather and grandmother, and eliminated any discrimination they might have faced if the act had not been present. Ferkler called the Fair Housing Act an “extremely important piece of legislation” but said there is room for it to be improved.
A rising junior at Easton High School, Azqa Asad, won second place in the essay contest. She discussed the history of the Fair Housing Act and how it has helped with discrimination in home buying, but that some buyers still face limited housing options when buying a home. Asad believes that within the next 50 years with newer generations, people will have more open minds and that there will be no discrimination in housing. Asad wrote the essay for extra credit in her English class and hopes to compete in next year’s essay contest.
Third place winner Abigail Szymanski entered the contest as extra credit for her English class with Mrs. Atwell who told her about the contest. Before writing her essay, the Easton High School student had not known of the Fair Housing Act and wrote that she learned a lot about this legislation and its impact.
Szymanski wrote that, in the next 50 years, she hopes discrimination in general, like in housing, becomes a community-wide goal for everyone to solve together. Abigail is the daughter of Colleen and Frank Szymanski.
The Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® is a trade association of real estate professionals in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties. The mission of the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® is to advocate for its members and the public to preserve the right to own, transfer and utilize real property. MSBR provides its members with resources to conduct business professionally in accordance with the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
Dormaim Green, Mid-Shore Board of Realtors president-elect; Sarah Ferkler, 2018 first place winner of MSBR’s Property Rights Essay Contest; and Daphne Cawley, Mid-Shore Board of Realtors president, pose with Ferkler’s ceremonial check.