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Sophomore Isabella Aftabi Wins Second Place in Holocaust Writing Contest

JSerra Catholic High School congratulates sophomore student, Isabella Aftabi, for winning second place in Chapman University's 25th Annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest, in the High School Prose category. Isabella attended Chapman's award ceremony on March 15, 2024, where she was formally recognized for her entry titled, "Through My Mother's Eyes." Mrs. Eileen McKeagney, Isabella's teacher for English, was also in attendance.

The Holocaust Art & Writing Contest provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to engage with Holocaust survivor or rescuer testimony and respond creatively to a specific prompt. Students may participate in any of the following categories: art, film, poetry, or prose. This year's prompt asked students to listen to a survivor’s or rescuer's full-length testimony about their experiences, and choose one specific memory that inspired them to action as a "witness to a witness." Inspired by the survival story of Holocaust survivor, Selene Bruk, and her daughter's desire to visit her mother's homeland of Poland, Isabella found herself reflecting on her own experience visiting Iran and Tehran with her mother. In her winning essay, Isabella shares how she and Selene's daughter both opened their eyes to the history of violence and persecution endured by their own people, the result of visiting their parents' birthplaces.

For winning second place, Isabella received $200. Both Mrs. McKeagney, as her sponsoring educator, and JSerra received $100 each.