Arkansas Peace Week names finalists in youth essay, art contests

School tile / photo courtesy of Getty Images

Arkansas Peace Week has announced the finalists for its Youth Essay Contest and Youth Art Contest.

Award winners from both contests will be announced at the Arkansas state Capitol rotunda on Saturday. The essay winner will be announced at 11 a.m. and the art winners announced at 1 p.m. Essay winners from each age group are invited to read their essays at this event. Art contest finalists' work will be displayed at the Arkansas state Capitol rotunda through Sunday. These events are free and open to the public.

More than 2,000 art entries and 300 essay entries were received from all over the state.

The Arkansas Peace Week Essay Contest, for seventh-12th grade students featured essays on the theme:

"In 2022 the FBI reported that Arkansas has the nation's 4th highest rate of violent crime. How has violence impacted you and your communities? What can be done to reduce violence in Arkansas?"

The Arkansas Peace Week Art Contest, for first-12th grade students, features art pieces addressing the theme:

"What does peace mean to you? Depict a more peaceful community in your art entry."

Here is a list of finalists, by name, title of the student's work if provided, and school.



Amelia Grisham, "A Safe Place," Hot Springs Junior Academy.

Freya Harris, "Peace Week," Westside School District.

Joah Smith, "Supporting Police to Increase Peace," Ozark Middle School.

Kami Perry, "My Look at a Less Violent Arkansas," Hazen High School.

Kylie Rodriguez, "Volunteering Vanquishes Violence," Homeschool, Cabot.

Riya Nandhakumar, "STOP the Violent Crimes!," Grimsley Junior High School.


Adam York, "Arkansas Violence," Joe T. Robinson Middle School.

Brogan Fountain, "Peace Week Essay," Joe T. Robinson Middle School.

Demetrick Tidwell, "Talking About Peace Week," Dunbar Magnet Middle School.

Madison Prescott, Springfield, "Peace Week Essay," Joe T. Robinson Middle School.

Nora Gonzales, "Violence in My School," Annie Camp Junior High School.

Rory Strasser, "Arkansas Has A Problem," Jacksonville Middle School.


Annaleigh Mead, "The Fight Towards a Better America," Southside Junior High School.

Annaliese Brown, "Violence in a Community," Woodlawn High School.

Henry Lopez, "A Change Needed to be Made," Southside Junior High School.

Isabelle Gray, "Bullying," Hazen High School.

Madison Reed, "Help for the Children and the Uncapable," Southside Junior High School.

Michael Bowman, "States Not United," Hazen High School.


Alexandria Evans, "Keep Arkansas Peaceful," White Hall High School.

Angel Velazquez, "Crime Rates Issue And How It Affects Us The Community," White Hall High School.

Aynslea Stokes, "The Truth About Arkansas," Southside School District.

Brayden Murphy, "Celebrating and Promoting Peace through Arkansas Peace Week," Jonesboro High School.

Keira McKinley, "Reducing Violence," White Hall High School.

Nathalie Young, "Looking Within," Russellville High School.


Abigail Myrick, "The Impact of Violence," Guy Perkins High School.

Ava Gillespie, "It's Time To Make A Difference," Russellville High School.

Betsy McClure, "Peace Essay," Little Rock Central High School.

Blanche Finzer, Little Rock Central High School.

Jaylyn Watts, "Emotional Awareness," Guy Perkins High School.

Onterryan Kilpatrick, "Shots Heard Across the Town," Guy Perkins High School.

Riley Cantrell, "How Violence Has Effected Me," White Hall High School.


Avrielle Dolph, "Freedom of Peace," Russellville High School.

Belle McKelvey, "Someone's Something," Little Rock Central High School.

Kaylah Atungulu, "The Violence that Hides," Haas Hall Academy at the Jones Center.

Kennedi Scaife, "My Vision of Peace," eStem High School.

Leah Hunter, "A Peace in A Better Home," Little Rock Central High School.

Lucy Burks, "Handling Violence," Little Rock Central High School.



Adaleigh Wewers, "Being Nice Neighbors," Paris School District.

Callie Bodkins, "Play with Friends," Barton Elementary.

Duy Tran, "Peas Peace," Barton Elementary.

Inara Santos, "Peace," Cutter Morning Star Elementary.

Jasper Wilkes, "Grade Battle for Peace," Landmark Elementary.

Jenesis Shrum, "We Love Our Community," Gentry Primary.

Jordyn Bailey, "Sharing," Bearden Elementary.

Lyrical Phillips, "Peaceful, Happy House," William Jefferson Clinton Primary, Hope.


Amelia Trent, "Building Love," Gentry Primary.

Avarie Fisher, "Peace Reflection," Scholar Made Unified Academies.

Christopher Raynor, "Peace Turns Mad Into Happy," Landmark Elementary.

Kai Lingo, "Peace in the Natural State," Cutter Morning Star Elementary.

Kehlea House, "Peace Train," Bearden Elementary.

Luna Outlaw, "Love Your Friends," Cutter Morning Star Elementary.

Nadia Patel, "Happy Together," Maumelle Charter.

Steven Chance Farley, "Outside is Peace," Cutter Morning Star Elementary.


Addelyn Keffer, "Peace Box Day Spread with Love," Barton Elementary.

Aliana Horton, "Peace," Sylvan Hills Elementary School.

Blake Briggs, "Peace in Many Places," DeWitt Elementary.

Kinsley Williams, "Peace is the Best," Barton Elementary.

Kwesi Montaque, "Peace has No Shade," Scholar Made Unified Academies.

Luke Skinner, "Peace Instead of Guns," McCrory Elementary.

Serenity Salomon, "Peace, Love and Earth," Texarkana.

Zoey Phillips, "Night of Peace," Western Yell County Elementary.


Bailey Hitchcock, "Grow Peace," DeWitt Elementary.

Elise Thompson, "Peace," Sylvan Hills Elementary School.

Ellie Rodriguez, "Growing Peace," Cabot, Home School.

Matthew Bautista, "Ride the Wave Of Peace," DeWitt Elementary.

Reginald Louden, "Peace," Sylvan Hills Elementary.

Travis Peck, "Arkansas Peace," Parkway Elementary.

Valentina Mercado, "Peaceful Sunshine," Lonoke Elementary.

Zylah Scholes, "Peace Changes Everything," Cutter Morning Star.


Alex Bogert, "Natures Band," Fountain Lake.

Alexa McCain, "Peace with No Limits," Scholarmade Unified Academies.

Andrina Robinson, "When We Join Hands, We Become UNSTOPPABLE, Community Peace," Hardin Elementary.

Cor'Neyah Pittman, "Peace In The Valley," Scholarmade Unified Academies.

Kate Wilson, "Peace, I Declare," Friendship Lab Schools for Dyslexia.

Scarlett McClintock, "My Idea of Peace," Paris School District.

Spencer Ward, "Put Peace Together," DeWitt Elementary.

Star Perez, "My Peace is Reading," Bayyari Elementary.


Amelia Cole, "Dragon of Peace," Robinson Middle School.

Amira Alexander, "The World Is On Her Shoulders and In Her Hair," Robinson Middle School.

Arianna Lindsey, "Unlimited Peace," Scholarmade Unified Academies.

Emerson Jones, "On The Wings of Love," Robinson Middle School.

Hallie Morris, "Building Peace," Alma Middle School.

Lillian Sexton, "We're All In This Together, No Clique Problem," White Hall Middle School.

Luke Keaster, "Let's Make Peace," Russellville Middle School.

Tate McGee, "Save the World for Peace," Robinson Middle School.


Ada Chen, "United Peace," Paragould Junior High School ALP.

Ariana Sadiq, "A Call to Peace," Pulaski Academy.

Jakeelan Taylor, "Rays of Sunshine," Russellville Middle School.

Jett Fisher, "Peace," Russellville Middle School.

Jillian Dupree, "Lotus," Genoa Junior High.

Madalynn Moore, "Let Peace Bloom," Armorel Junior High.

Sierra Rudnicki, "A Peace of Equity," Jessieville Middle School.

Vaibhav Sathish, "The Blissful Our(Ar)Kansas," Grimsley Junior High.


Amelia Morales Szulga, "Peace Pasture," Batesville Junior High School Charter.

Ariel Sexton, "We All Bleed Red, All Lives Matter," Arkansas Virtual Academy.

Julian Mandoff, "Amity," Robinson Middle School.

Kimberly Martinez, "Peace of Mind," Hot Springs Junior Academy.

Lilian Bogard, "Hope, Friendship," Aspire Lab School For Dyslexia.

Rylee Grant, "Peace In A Day," Westwind School for Performing Art.

Sophia Finigan, "Keep Peace in Arkansas," Hope Academy of Public Service.

Zoey Thompson, "Hurt people, hurt people," Prairie Grove Junior High.


Adeline Robertson, "Aroma of Peace," Jessieville High School.

Cadince Onstott, "Freedom Fought and won," Acorn High School.

Elizabeth Lawrence, "The Peace of Nature," Friendship Aspire Lab Schools for Dyslexia.

Emma Tharp, "A Peaceful Afternoon," Founders Classical Academy of WLR.

Jaidyn Randall, "Peace Of Mind," Arkansas Virtual Academy.

Kierstyn Potts, "My Peace Is In God," Valley View Junior High.

Sarah Castleberry, "Peaceful Kingdom," Bearden High School.

Tracy Grant, "Let Peace Bloom," Bearden High School.


Addison Scarbrough, "Peace," McCrory High School.

Amberly Humble, "Simple," Jessieville High School.

Cameron Yeargain, "Arkansas Peace," Western Yell County High School.

Cierra Marcum, "Thug Life," Western Yell County High School.

Gracie Nelson, "Tools for Peace," McCrory High School.

Izabella Bean, "How I Find Peace with the Problem I Have," Piggott High School.

Kota Gooch, "Let Peace Fly," Western Yell County High School.

Oscar Hernandez, "Pieces of Peace," Western Yell County High School.


Ashton Neal, "Walk of Peace," McCrory High School.

Estefany Gaona, "Godly Peace," Western Yell County High School.

Giana Simington, "988," Piggott High School.

Jordan Rodgers, "Attempting Inner Peace," Mt. Vernon High School.

Kadence Hammersley, "Branded," Western Yell County High School.

Kynlee Millard, "Something in the Orange," Western Yell County High School.

Sophia Muniz, "All One," Bauxite High School.

Sydney Purdy, "Peace Like a Dove," DeWitt High School.


Delaney Richards, "Ying & Yang," Rose Bud High School.

Eleena Guenther, "Peaceful Arkansas," Mt. Vernon High School.

Jannie Watson, "Peace Like a Dove," DeWitt High School.

Kamma Reed, "Peace for All," Jessieville High School.

Leonard Tripp, "Puzzle," Founders Classical Academy of WLR.

Maci McJunkins, "Rise Up," Mt Vernon High School.

Mahailee Martin, "Peace in our Hands," Western Yell County High School.

Summer Bear, "tournesol," Bauxite High School.

Arkansas Peace Week is made possible by grant funding through the National Park Service, in partnership with the Jefferson National Parks Association and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.