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2021 Global Voices Essay Contest - Southeast Asia

GYAN announces winners of 4th annual essay contest

Global Voices - Southeast Asia

GYAN, in collaboration with MSU's Asian Studies Center, received more than 200 essays written by youth ages 15-24 from Southeast Asian countries! Contestants submitted essays on the topic of Confronting Inequity, with a special focus on one of the following sub-themes: Education; Environment; Gender; Health; Race or Ethnicity; or a topic of their choosing. The inspiring initiatives these young people are working on range from publishing stories of revolution to educational support for young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Judges from GYAN, Asian Studies Center, MSU Libraries, the School of Criminal Justice, and the department of Human Development and Family Studies determined the contest winners, who received the following prizes:

  • First Prize: 400 USD
  • Second Prize: 200 USD
  • Third Prize: 150 USD

Congratulations to our winners (listed below), and thank you to all contest participants!

Contest Winners

3rd Place

3rd prize - Krizzy.jpg

Krizzy Hazel S. Abringe


Free With the Silence

Honorable Mention

In addition to our winners, the following contestants received an honorable mention from our judges:

Judging Criteria

On a scale from 1-5, our student, faculty, and staff judging panel rated essays on the following criteria:


Essay shows a great deal of independent insight and originality. It gives a sense of the person behind the words. Creative, honest, and thought provoking. 

Innovative Solutions

Writer identifies a known or unarticulated need and presents a new or more effective way of delivering a desired outcome. The solution includes awareness about key stakeholders that are needed to realize the vision and articulates a thoughtful strategy on how to engage them.

Demonstrates Passion

The writer's voice sounds confident and enthusiastic. Strong expression and vision for initiative.

Critical Thought

The presence of ideas developed through facts, examples, anecdotes, details, opinions, statistics, reasons, and/or explanations.

Organization/Use of Language

Essay is artfully structured, moving the reader smoothly and naturally though the text. Free of spelling and punctuation errors. Grammar usage is controlled.

Appropriateness to the Theme

Writer takes a clear position on a sub-theme and supports it consistently with well-chosen reasons/examples.