Return to Headlines

SHS Freshman Chosen as Finalist in Holocaust Remembrance Essay Contest

Gracie Knepper

Each year, the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Committee of York hosts an essay contest as part of their yearly Holocaust Remembrance Day events.  All York County students in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in this contest.  Each student is required to write an essay focusing on how the lessons from the Holocaust can be applied to modern times.  The essays are evaluated by the Yom HaShoah Committee, and three finalists are selected to attend the community Yom HaShoah event in May.  For this year's contest, the committee evaluated 20 essays from districts around the county.  Susquehannock High School freshman, Gracie Knepper represented Susquehannock as a finalist.


Gracie's essay focused on how small acts of kindness add up to make the world a better place. She wrote, “We often get caught up in the idea that bigger is always better, but we have to focus on the small acts if we want to change the world.  We can all smile, we can all give compliments, we can all donate money, and we can all volunteer our time.  Small acts of volunteering, small smiles and small compliments can change lives.”


Her essay was published and distributed to attendees of the ceremony, where Holocaust survivors, their families and members of the community lighted candles.   The attendance at this event was close to 300 people and featured an orchestra and singers.  “It was an amazing experience to be chosen as a finalist and have the opportunity to see a different community and religion and learn about what they went through in the Holocaust,” said Gracie.


Being selected as a finalist for this contest is an immense honor, so please congratulate Gracie!