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Eighth Grader Places as Finalist in Holocaust Essay Competition

Emerson Holsinger was a finalist in the 2022 essay contest sponsored by Holocaust survivor Linda Schwab. 


A girl and two women, smiling

Since fifth grade, Emerson Holsinger has found herself reading book after book about the Holocaust. The stories left her horrified and wanting to know more about how something so awful could happen. Now in eighth grade, Emerson was particularly interested to learn that a Holocaust survivor, Mrs. Linda Schwab, would be visiting her class to talk about her experiences. Emerson also decided to participate in Mrs. Schwab's annual essay contest. 

Here is an excerpt from Emerson's essay, which chronicles her study of the Holocaust:  

“But what really stood out to me at the time was the fact that there were children in these images. Children just like me. I started to see a reflection between myself and these images. And at that moment I asked myself “What if that was me?” What if I was right there with the children in the pictures. For these children were young like me. They had dreams for the future like me. They had the rest of their lives ahead of them just like me. And seeing this close of a connection is what really stuck with me.”

Emerson did not win this year's essay contest, which is open to secondary students throughout Central Pennsylvania, but she placed in the top five. Better still, she got a chance to meet and talk one-on-one with Mrs. Schwab. The two had lunch together at the school with Emerson's parents and her language arts teacher, Joanne Willard. Mrs. Williard has invited Mrs. Schwab to speak to middle schoolers each year since 2018. 

You can read more about Linda Schwab's recent visit to Martin Meylin Middle School at LNP.