Odle sixth-grader takes first place in World Citizens essay contest

The winners of the 2014 World Citizens essay contest. Odle Middle School
The winners of the 2014 World Citizens essay contest. Odle Middle School's Anirudh Prakash is fifth from the left.
— image credit: World Affairs Council

An Odle Middle School sixth-grader won first place in the grade 6-8 division of the 2014 World Citizen Essay Contest.

Anirudh Prakash accepted his award and prizes June 5 at a World Affairs Council ceremony in Seattle, from travel personality Rick Steves.

Prakash's essay, "Piracy: A Conspiracy to Shun Ancient Growth," described how he would attempt to understand and improve Somalia if he were to travel there.

"I suspect that life under extreme African heat, poverty, unemployment, civil unrest and political tension can make commoners take extreme survival actions," Prakash wrote. "Peaceful demonstrations, rallies and protests can spiral out of control, igniting violence. With ineffective police, lawlessness can complicate attempts to secure bare necessities into desperate banditry."

The 2014 essay prompt was based on Steves' book "Travel as a Political Act," which argued travel was important for reasons beyond rest and relaxation. It asked students to pick a location, explain what they hoped to learn and how traveling there and meeting residents would broaden their perspective.

Prakash wrote that he hoped to "dig deep" into the origins of piracy and visit hostages, children and merchants in his quest to learn the truth about life in the country.

The World Affairs Council is an organization serving the Greater Seattle metro area to help everyday people become global citizens.


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