North Caro­line stu­dent wins es­say con­test

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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.

CON­TRIBUTED PHOTO

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.

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